Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer in Corn Systems in the Midwest

Meta Analysis of Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer in corn systems in the Midwest

Crops: Corn for grain Corn for silage
4R Practices: Metadata Project

Meta-analysis of Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers in Corn Systems in the Midwest

Lead Researcher:

Dr. Rachel Cook

Assistant Professor

North Carolina State University

Start Date: 2014

End Date: 2015

Matching Funds

  • Dow AgroSciences

Project Summary

The 4R approach to nutrient stewardship has helped develop a better context for driving best management practices in production agriculture. As the agricultural community becomes more involved in exploring the three aspects of sustainability, including the economic, social, and environmental triple bottom line, the 4Rs (right source, right rate, right time, and right place) provide a framework for better management of fertilizer applications.

The exceedingly large number of possible combinations of source, rate, time, and place, even within one cropping system, can make it difficult to compare results from studies located in different regions, with different climate, soils, and accepted management practices. To prevent needless duplication of study parameters and suggest future study directions, the soil fertility and fertilizer community needs to systematically compile what we know in order to move forward in the most efficient manner possible.

Project Goals:

  • Compile a database that will characterize environmental variables (latitude and longitude, precipitation, soil texture, soil organic matter, and plot size).
  • Meta-analysis will re-evaluate the current literature on nitrapyrin, and expand the analysis to include other nitrification inhibitors, urease inhibitors, and controlled release fertilizers will create a more useful and broader-scoped analysis of the environmental and agronomic benefits of these management practices in Midwestern corn production.

Project Results:

  • Application timing and nitrogen rate had a greater effect than nitrogen source with enhanced efficiency properties for management and environmental factors for this specific meta-analysis.
  • A need for an additional assessment that coverages greater regions and specific systems that are susceptible to losses is clear.
  • Nitrate leaching and water-quality information reported with measures of variability are the biggest information gap at this time for both tile-drained and non-tile-drained systems.

Annual Reports