The Sharp Edge: Delivering well timed nitrogen, with Mike Miller


When must you apply nitrogen on a corn crop and the way a lot? That query consumes numerous hours yearly for corn growers, researchers, and agronomists .

Seven years in the past, Rodney, Ont., grain farmer Mike Miller, like many growers, was additionally taking part in the guessing sport. But that each one modified when he purchased a self-propelled sprayer and began on the lookout for methods to fine-tune his nitrogen technique.

On this episode of The Sharp Edge, Miller and Maizex agronomist Greg Stewart take a look at how Miller has constructed an “clever strategy” to delivering well timed nitrogen to his corn crop. The key to his program is the flexibility to put down UAN 28% as a dribble band on the backside of the corn row in a June 15 to July 15 utility window.

In-season rainfall is a key issue that Miller desires to handle with this strategy. Before switching to the dribble band, he was seeing extreme late-season nitrogen deficiencies on his farm’s sandy soils and notes how he has utilized analysis from now-retired University of Guelph researcher Bill Deen on the affect rainfall can have on nitrogen availability.

Deen’s analysis may be summed up fairly simply: the extra rain you get, the extra nitrogen it’s best to add. His work indicated that corn growers ought to apply 115 lbs of nitrogen upfront after which apply an extra 25 lbs for each inch of rain  obtained between June 15 and July 15. (Story continues after the video.)

Miller has embraced this philosophy and in 2021 was well-positioned to fulfill his crop wants with dribble utility after Mother Nature turned on the faucet in late June and delivered 12 inches of rain to his farm by way of July.

In the video, Miller shares how he makes use of a nitrogen stabilizer to guard in opposition to volatilization and leaching. He and Stewart additionally focus on how the high-clearance spraying choice delivers flexibility, permitting him to maneuver nitrogen administration out of his weed management spray window.

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