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Spring nitrogen loss: The drainage connection

April 6, 2021  By Bree Rody

Landowners and custom manure applicators are always looking to limit nutrient losses. This spring, one of the primary concerns should be limiting nitrogen loss in corn. Seasons that have higher-than-normal precipitation will result in even more nitrogen loss – but University of Minnesota Extension’s Taylor Becker shows how the right timing and other practices can help to mitigate such losses.

Research derived from 30 years of precipitation data shows that water use in corn peaks around July, while tile drainage peaks in April and May when excess nitrogen applications might be more susceptible to leaching.

In the case of coarse, irrigated soils, Becker recommends a split application. But, writes Becker, “If split applications are not a viable option, a single early sidedress application of nitrogen around or before V4 is preferred to applying all nitrogen preplant.” | Read more


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