Nitrification inhibitors (NI) can be used with liquid swine manure (LSM) to decrease potential NO3 losses, but knowledge specifying when and where NI can increase corn (Zea mays L.) yields is limited. Eleven on-farm evaluation trials (OET) were conducted in 2009 and 15 in 2010 to identify site-specific factors for using Instinct (an encapsulated form of nitrapyrin) with LSM in Iowa. Farmers injected LSM in the fall in at least three field-long strips with and without NI. Yield responses (YR) to NI were calculated by dividing yield monitor data into 50-m cells within each field. Hierarchical models were used to estimate predictive probabilities of profitable YR for two categories of monthly average rainfall and soil drainage. On average, NI produced no YR in relatively normal 2009 and a 0.15 Mg ha−1 YR in extremely wet 2010. The NI did not change late-season corn N status but half of corn stalk nitrate test (CSNT) samples were N deficient in 2009 and about 65 % in 2010. Fields receiving >90 cm March through August rainfall in 2010 were predicted 65 % more likely to have economic YR (>0.13 Mg ha−1) than fields receiving <90 cm rainfall. Within-field variability in YR was about four times greater than among-field variability, but within field-level factors had no significant effects on YR. The NI effects may not have lasted long enough to increase yields across all OET and predictive probabilities suggest that NI may produce profitable YR only when spring and summer rainfall exceed the long-term averages by more than 40 %.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 9, 2013
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