Crop yield level and nitrogen (N) responsiveness influence the demand for fertilizer. If they were found to be unrelated, this would justify using a combination of both for determining fertilizer N requirements. Failure to understand the independence of crop response to N and yield level has led to confusion as to what theory is appropriate for making N fertilizer rate recommendations. The sufficiency approach applies a fixed rate of N at a computed sufficiency level, regardless of yield potential. Alternatively, mid-season optical sensor estimates of yield potential and crop response to additional N provide a physiological basis to estimate N removal and a biologically based N application rate. This study investigated the relationship between grain yield and response to N in long-term wheat and corn experiments. No relationship between response to N and grain yield was found. There was also no relationship between yield and year at two of three sites. Finally, there was no relationship between response to N and year at any site. Because yield and response to N were consistently independent of one another, and as both affect the demand for fertilizer N, estimates of both should be combined to calculate realistic in-season N rates.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 2, 2010
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