Variable Rate Nitrogen in Canola
Variable rate nitrogen applications in Canola may only work in certain circumstances, according to the recently published study.
By using precision agriculture strategies such as management zones, there is potential to increase profitability. However, the effectiveness is highly variable.
The field-scale study looked at ten sites to evaluate the viability of site-specific nitrogen management zones. These zones were based on historical yield maps and soil test recommendations to improve canola productivity and profitability in Western Canada.
On average, these management zones of nitrogen fertilizer saw $28 to $65/ha more net revenue. The potential for management zones does exist. However, the effectiveness of the crop yield relies heavily on conditions including the soil and environment at each site.
This study used factorial combinations of three canola yield zones (low, average, high) by four nitrogen rates, replicated four times at each site, to create management zones. Results showed, nitrogen application under management zones was only reduced by 8% compared to uniform rates.
Farming Smarter contributed to this study.