Effectiveness of Split Nitrogen Applications in the Midwestern U.S.

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  • Nitrogen (N) fertilizers are used to supplement the soil’s natural N supply to increase corn grain yield and maximize economic profit.
  • However, the use of N fertilizer has been associated with increased nitrate levels of ground and surface waters. High nitrate levels can cause negative environmental, human, and animal health effects.
  • Splitting N fertilizer across multiple application timings during the growing season is a suggested method to lower the risk of N loss by applying N fertilizer in amounts and at timings that more closely match corn N uptake.
  • The objectives of this study were:
    • Determine the effects of split N application on soil nitrate (NO3-N) at VT, N uptake at maturity, and corn grain yield.
    • Classify environmental conditions in which split N application is likely to increase corn yield.
    • Compare the effect of split N application when a low or high N rate is applied near planting on soil N concentrations, corn N uptake, and corn yield.

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