Purdue University | Indiana CCA

Proceedings 2009

Indiana Certified Crop Adviser Conference

Evaluation of New Nitrogen Fertilizer Technologies for Corn

Farmers today are faced with escalating fertilizer prices, especially for nitrogen. Gains in nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) can help offset these prices. Several N sources were evaluated at four to five locations annually across the state of Illinois over a three year period. Nitrogen rates of 60, 120, 180 and 240 lb N per acre were associated with each N source. The yield responses associated with N sources could be broken into wet locations (those with >12 inches rainfall over the 15 week period after fertilizer application) and dry locations (<12 in.). Nitrogen source effects were highly significant at the wet locations. The dry fertilizer products tended to do better than the liquid products. There was a fair amount of N loss from surface applied urea or UAN, indicating volatilization losses, which was reduced significantly by the application of agrotain or superU. Sidedress injection of UAN or application of ESN also significantly reduced N losses and increased yields. It appears that many of the N sources in this study may provide significant improvements in N use efficiency, especially during wet years.


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Steve Ebelhar Agronomist-Department of Crop Sciences
University of Illinois

Dr. Ebelhar is an Agronomist with the University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences and is the Superintendent of the Crop Sciences operation at the Dixon Springs and Brownstown Agricultural Research Centers. Since 2005, Steve has also served as the Visiting Operations Coordinator for the Office of Research. Dr. Ebelhar received his BS and MS in Agronomy from the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D. in Soil Science from North Carolina State University. Since 1985, Dr. Ebelhar has served as a Research and Extension Specialist in Soil Fertility and Crop Production for southern Illinois. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Ebelhar has obtained over $1 million in research grants and over $100 thousand in cash gifts to support his programs. During this same period, Steve has published over 100 articles in refereed journals and proceedings. He has also made over 150 talks at field days, Agronomy days, state, regional, national and international meetings, to over 10,000 attendees.