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Adapt-N

Mar 30, 2022

As spring is approaching and will be here soon, one must think about the dry winter we had.  When will the moisture come? The weather this fall allowed us to apply nitrogen until we could not source any more, resulting in one of the biggest fall applied nitrogen season for our company. While nitrogen is one of the biggest yield drivers for a corn crop, it is one of the most volatile nutrients to have in the soil. Nitrogen is affected by weather, temperature and timing of application. Many growers wonder if they have enough nitrogen for optimum yield throughout the growing season. Today we are going to look at a system called Adapt-N, an advanced modeling of nitrogen using your soil test, application data and of course the weather all packed into one online application.

Adapt-N is a very powerful and flexible program to give growers the ability to tweak the inputs to match the needs of the field. It uses your grid samples from the field, organic matter and pH, for the base calculations. The model considers the soils and base textures along with the slopes to calculate how water flows through the soil profile. The soil temperature is added into the equation to determine when the ammonia nitrogen will convert to nitrate nitrogen. Based on the water flow, the model will determine if the nitrate is leching out. Estimating the movement of nitrogen within the field helps to determine what the current state of nitrogen is in.

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The crop uptake and yield goal are very important in estimating if there is enough nitrogen. Adapt-N is customizable down to a 60 X 60-foot cell. Variable rate planting maps and the yield goal can be loaded into Adapt-N to calculate the total nitrogen uptake of the crop. Every plant that is growing needs the same amount of nitrogen. As planting densities increase from 28,000 to 36,000 plants per acre, higher plant populations will require higher amounts of nitrogen. Adapt-N model will calculate the higher needs of that area as the weather and growth stages affect the uptake of nitrogen.

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When all the inputs calculate, Adapt-N produces a variable rate nitrogen map. Remember the model is time sensitive, the nitrogen map is the nitrogen need for the day. If we applied the nitrogen today and receive 5 inches of rain next week, the field will probably call for more nitrogen. This is why the weather plays into nitrogen availability. By modeling the current status of nitrogen, we can determine if action should be taken to address the losses. It's crucial to be proactive about nitrogen, because if we wait until visual plant deficiency symptoms it will be too late. Another problem is at harvest, the stalks have cannibalized and fall because of lack of nitrogen. Nobody likes to combine down corn.

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Nitrogen price is higher than what we have seen for a few years. Variable rate applications to areas based on the nitrogen need is the best best way to earn a good return on your money. With the already applied nitrogen, it is insightful to know if you still have enough to reach your yield goal. If you’re interested in keeping an eye on your nitrogen levels, this program cost $2.00 an acre. Adapt-N is equipped with notifications by email or text alerts if your nitrogen in the field falls below critical levels. Nitrogen is one of the biggest yield drivers for a corn crop so keep an eye on it with your CFE Agronomist.

 


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