Nitrogen Management Can Help Profitability
Today’s crop prices have many farmers feeling the pinch of tight profit margins. Each grower and operation will handle this scenario differently. Some may cut seed costs, some chemical costs, and others may manage fertilizer input costs. For those that fall into the third category, ISU and UNL have each created online tools to help growers manage nitrogen. These tools help growers decide what nitrogen rates can help increase profitability. There are two different points that growers can calculate – the Economic Optimum N Rate (EONR) and the Maximum Return to N (MRTN) rate. The EONR is the point at which the last increment of N returns a yield increase large enough to pay for the additional N applied. The MRTN is the N rate where the economic net return to N application (aka making the most for the money) is maximized. It is important to understand that these values for N applications are not designed to maximize yield, they are meant to maximize an operation’s profitability. Generally 98-99% of maximum yield potential can be achieved when using these rates. Check out the details about each system below and visit the websites themselves to understand more about how managing nitrogen can keep more dollars in your pocket this season.
Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator
From: Iowa State University and partners in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan
Overview: Uses grower entered corn prices, N prices, location, and rotation information in combination with regional N rate research data to find profitable N rates. The calculator returns values for MRTN Rate, a profitable N rate range, net return to N at MRTN rate in $/ac, and percent of maximum yield.
From: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Overview: The model uses grower input information on the current corn crop, last season crop, tillage, residue, basic soil information, fertilizer management and pricing, and long term weather data. It evaluates attainable yield, N uptake, fertilizer N required, and Economic optimum rate for the give parameters.