It might be tougher for growers to assess their nitrogen needs this year. Due to dry conditions this past summer N stayed in the soil profile longer. For those with below trend line yields that applied N for trend line or higher yields in the spring of 2012, much of the N was still in the soil last fall. DuPont Pioneer Agronomists say the soil N carried over could be a great benefit for the corn crop in June.
However, the likelihood of that is getting smaller because of the precipitation growers are receiving. DuPont Pioneer notes spring storms will likely leech the N out of the soil before plants use it. Nitrification is the break down process that generally occurs at soil temperatures above 50 degrees and increases as temperatures rise above that level. Nitrification inhibitors slow the conversion of ammonium to nitrate and have proven effective for this purpose.
DuPont Pioneer offers more information related to soil nitrogen - including tips for nitrogen management - online at pioneer.com.