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Incorporating Local Weather and Soil Variation in Adaptive Nitrogen Management: Validating the Adapt-N Tool for On-Farm Sidedress Recommendations. Bianca N. Moebius-Clune * , Harold M. van Es, Jeff M. Melkonian, Art DeGaetano , Laura Joseph, Robert R. Schindelbeck, Shannon Gomes

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Incorporating Local Weather and Soil Variation

in Adaptive Nitrogen Management:

Validating the Adapt-N Tool for On-Farm Sidedress Recommendations

Bianca N. Moebius-Clune*, Harold M. van Es, Jeff M. Melkonian, Art DeGaetano, Laura Joseph, Robert R. Schindelbeck, Shannon Gomes

[email protected], Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Ithaca, NY, Cornell University

Using Adapt-N

  • Concerns with Nitrogen in Corn

  • Corn is the largest consumer of N in US (~ $5 Billion/yr)

  • N use efficiency is often less than 50%

  • Current predictions of annual corn N fertilizer needs are generalized and imprecise (+ or - 40%) due to dynamic, complex and locally-specific interactions among weather, soil and management variables

  • Large NO3-leaching losses contribute to hypoxia in estuaries

  • N2O from denitrification makes up largest fraction of greenhouse gas emissions associated with U.S. agriculture

  • Losses occur in wet spring/early summer or following the cropping season if excessive N was applied, or if drought limited crop N uptake

Adapt-N Inputs

Adapt-N Outputs

Adapt-N: a tool for

adaptive N management in corn

A computational tool that farmers, crop consultants, and planners can use to develop precise nitrogen recommendations for fields adjusted for local weather, soil characteristics, and management practices.

Adapt-N has three important components:

Well-validated Precision Nitrogen Management (PNM) dynamic simulation model simulates locally-specific daily soil C and N transformations, water transport and corn N uptake, to calculate in-season N fertilizer needs

Uses high resolution climate data (daily precipitation and temperature) on a 4x4 km grid

Readily accessible, server-based web-interface allows farmers to define field-specific management and soil test info to run simulations from anywhere with internet access. No software is needed, and the tool even works from tablets and smart-phones.

http://adapt-n.cals.cornell.edu

  • ‘Results’ page of interface provides

  • in-season N recommendation and graphs of soil, crop and climate simulation:

  • Cumulative N mineralization from organic sources

  • Cumulative N uptake by crop

  • Cumulative total N losses

  • Cumulative N Leaching Losses

  • Nitrate-N in top 12 inches

  • Inorganic N in the full Root Zone

  • Growing Season Daily Rainfall

  • Growing Season Cumulative Rainfall

  • Post-Emergence Growing Degree Days

  • Corn vegetative growth stage

  • Growing season average temperature

N excess

N deficient

for PSNT equivalent, divide by 4

Sample Strip Trial Layout:

Spatially Balanced Complete Block Design (after van Es 1993).

A = Adapt-N recommended N rate;

G = grower practice N rate

Preliminary Results of

On-Farm Validation

Adapt-N Structure

G

A

  • In 45 replicated on-farm strip trials in New York and Iowa, grower applications of N to silage, grain and sweet corn exceeded rates recommended by Adapt-N by 15 - 130lb/acrein almost all cases.

  • In a few locations where excessive rainfall occurred, Adapt-N recommended higher rates.

  • Two NY trials with lower Adapt-N rates show no statistically significant differences in yield

  • A few trials show visible deficiencies due to lower Adapt-N rates.

  • Harvest data are still being collected.

  • Strip trial data will be used to further calibrate the model this winter.

  • A second set of strip trials will be conducted in 2012

On-farm strip trials on Long Island, NY:

Above: A = 93 lb N, G = 159 lb N

Below: A = 132 lb N, G = 175 lb N

G

A

  • High Resolution Weather Data

  • Currently available for Northeast & Iowa; entire Eastern US in 2012

  • Enables field-scale adaptation

  • Allows for field-scale N management adaptation to climate change

Left: On-farm strip trial in IA. A = 100 lb N,

G = 150 lb N


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