How One Wisconsin Farmer Uses Nitrogen Monitoring to Reach his Yield Goals

March 07, 2017

Dustin K. is a corn and soybean farmer and FarmLogs user from Amery, Wisconsin. He operates 900 acres across Polk County, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and currently splits the acres 60% corn and 40% soybeans. Here's what he had to say about using FarmLogs Nitrogen Monitoring on his farm:

 

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Dustin K. on his farm in Wisconsin

 

What was your nitrogen management practice prior to using FarmLogs?

Our plan was typically to apply flat rate using a standard formula (for example, 1 lb of nitrogen for 1 bushel of corn). From there, we break it down to get as close to our yield goals as possible. We also side-dress as much N as possible as late in the season as possible. It was mostly effective, but not as precise as we wanted it to be.

 

Why did you decide to use FarmLogs Nitrogen Monitoring?

I have always wanted my nitrogen fertilizer applications to be optimal. It’s the only fertilizer that doesn’t carry over to the next year.

If you over fertilize corn, the crop won’t utilize it. Then you’ve wasted that nitrogen and, ultimately, that comes off of your bottom line.

I try to fertilize in a way where N is not a limiting factor, and FarmLogs Nitrogen Monitoring helps me do that. It gets me a lot closer to the ideal flat rate recommendation than I typically would without it.

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Example of FarmLogs Nitrogen Monitoring dashboard

 

How did the FarmLogs Nitrogen Monitoring tool help you manage your corn?

In order to make sure that nitrogen was not a limiting factor in hitting my yield goals, I used FarmLogs Nitrogen Monitoring to edit my yield goals as the season progressed. For example, I’ve reached 200 BPA in the past, but yields that high are rare in Wisconsin. All of the experts say that in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the optimal yield goal to fertilize for is 165 BPA. So, I ended up making a yield goal decision that made sense off of FarmLogs recommendation and my own production history.

The Nitrogen Monitoring tool made a difference, and this year, most of my fields capped out at 185 BPA.

 

How did this impact your yield goals?

Most of my yield goals were set anywhere from 165-180 BPA, and I was able to use the Nitrogen Monitoring tool to fine tune the application to reach my optimal yield goal. FarmLogs recommended a little more N in order to meet those goals, so I confidently added more N.  I’m glad I did, because I think it paid off. I really wouldn’t have put that much focus on N management without it. This year was critical, because my fields have been corn on corn, and I don’t think I would have had the top end of the yield without the FarmLogs Nitrogen Monitoring tool.

 
 
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Rachel Nizinski, Marketing Coordinator

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Rachel Nizinski, Marketing Coordinator