Network Trends: Nitrogen Across the Corn Belt

Nitrogen practices and preferences vary widely across the country. The differences in experiences with N products from state to state reveals some of the advantages and challenges that farmers in different regions experience.

IOWA

Most Popular N Products | Anhydrous, UAN, Urea
Most Common Application Timing | Fall-applied anhydrous, UAN applied preplant (weed and feed), sidedressing is common
State N Calculator | Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator
Most Significant N Factor(s) | Soil drainage and cost
N Rate Trend | “The amount of fertilizer farmers use has declined since 2011.”

“Soil type and texture is important regionally in Iowa. The Southeast region is different because of higher rainfall and more poorly drained soils, which is something farmers need to consider when planning their nitrogen strategy. Farmers have been doing more late spring nitrate tests, particularly in wet years.”

-Iowa Extension

 

ILLINOIS

Most Popular N Products | Anhydrous, UAN, Urea
Most Common Application Timing | Fall-applied anhydrous, urea at planting, sidedressing based on weather
State N Calculator | Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator
Most Significant N Factor(s) | Price, convenience/safety, and weather
N Rate Trend | “More ef cient hybrids have allowed farmers to use less nitrogen in Illinois.”

“Nitrogen stabilizers are like insurance policies. They always work, but they don’t always help you, because they only save you money if there’s a loss. You should hope you don’t need to use them. But if you don’t get excessively wet, you won’t lose N and your stabilizer was pointless.”

-Illinois Extension
 

MINNESOTA

Most Popular N Products | Urea, 28% UAN, Anhydrous
Most Common Application Timing | Fall-applied anhydrous, pre-planting or sidedressing for urea or UAN State N Calculator | Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator
Most Significant N Factor(s) | Weather and logistics
N Rate Trend | “Minnesota farmers are using less fertilizer as a result of improved hybrids and cost incentives.”

“In Indiana, farmers often struggle to get anhydrous in their area because there are not enough available terminals. But the Eastern corn belt is also wetter, which means more farmers apply in-season. Since anhydrous is a little slower and little more dif cult to apply in-season, urea and UAN tend to be more popular products.”

-Indiana Extension

 

INDIANA

Most Popular N Products | Urea, Liquid UAN, Anhydrous
Most Common Application Timing | Preplanting urea, in-season applications before knee height or rescue with high clearance equipment, fall for anhydrous.
State N Calculator | Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator
Most Significant N Factor(s) | Logistical constraints and weather
N Rate Trend | “Research suggests farmers are applying about the same amount, but are placing it more ef ciently.”

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SOUTH DAKOTA

Most Popular N Products | Granular Urea, UAN, Anhydrous
Most Common Application Timing | Fall is logistically easiest, Urea or UAN at planting
State N Calculator | South Dakota Nitrogen Calculator
Most Significant N Factor(s) | Weather and logistical constraints
N Rate Trend | “Farmers in South Dakota are using less fertilizer due to falling commodity prices.”

America’s most progressive farmers collaborate and share best practices through Farmers Business Network, both anonymously through FBN Analytics products, face-to-face at FBN Events like the annual Farmer2Farmer℠ conference, seasonal Meetups or at regional meetings, or virtually through FBN Seed Congresses or product training webinars.

Find the optimal level of nitrogen to maximize yields this season.