Nitrogen watch

This page tracks spring rainfall and identifies danger areas that are on track to have problems with nitrogen loss and deficiency in corn. This is a serious production and environmental problem that is estimated to cost Midwestern corn producers 2 billion bushels total from 2008 to 2011.

Nitrogen watch will focus on well-and moderately well-drained soils and poorly- and somewhat poorly-drained soils.

Well-drained soils are vulnerable mainly to nitrogen loss from leaching. This process can start shortly after fertilizer application (with some delay for ammonia).

Poorly-drained soils lose N mainly by denitrification, which is very temperature-sensitive. A good rule of thumb is that wet conditions in May and June cause denitrification losses, but losses in April are minimal.

Nitrogen watch 2020 will be available once the spring data is collected and analyzed.


Nitrogen watch information through 2015 is archived for use and for reference.

Nitrogen watch archive