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Study finds intensified nutrient management can improve corn yield

Linear irrigation system used for the study at Becker, MN. Photo from Tamás Varga.

Jeff Coulter, Extension Specialist, Corn-Based Cropping Systems

Jeff Vetsch, Soil Scientist

Across the world, corn producers and their advisors have been working toward shrinking the exploitable yield gap – the difference between attainable yields and yields under current farmer practices – by increasing their management intensity. In a new study, research evaluated increased management intensity with the goal of ecological intensification and how those practices compared with standard practices.

At research locations in Waseca and Becker, MN, advanced nutrient management paired with intensified agronomic management increased corn grain yield by 22 and 28 percent, respectively, compared to standard practices. The economically optimal combination of practices varied with location and year.

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Planting plots at Becker, MN with customized planter. Photo from Tamás Varga.

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Support for this project was provided in part by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

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