Nitrogen is the main nutrient requirement for corn, and in 2017, 448,000 hectares of grain corn and feed corn were planted in Québec. Current recommendations suggest a nitrogen input of 120 to 170 kg per hectare (Parent and Gagné, 2010), but the current nitrogen dose is closer to 200 kg, and even as much as 240 kg in some cases. This seemingly excessive dose can be attributed to uncertainties about the influence of a number of factors, including climate, soil moisture and drainage, hybrid requirements, crop rotations, tillage, compaction, pH, and subsoil characteristics. Models have been developed based on various parameters to determine the optimal post-emergent nitrogen dose to apply. However, these models are not wholly accurate because they do not take soil health into account. The severity of a soil’s degradation will impact its water content, microbiology, and root development. Thus, it is critical to include this factor in nitrogen management models.
From 2019 to 2023
This work will lead to a reduction in the excessive amounts of fertilizer used by some corn growers.
This research project, initiated by the CÉROM grain research centre, looks to assess the cost-effectiveness of nitrogen fertilizer applications improved by the addition of urea, for use with winter wheat crops grown in Québec.
Researcher: Luc Belzile
The project evaluated and compared the effectiveness of two types of subsoil plows (mounted on a bulldozer or a tractor) operated parallel and perpendicular to the tile drains to improve soil drainage conditions and productivity compared to control plots.
Researcher: Marc-Olivier Gasser
The objective of this project was to develop effective techniques for controlling water table levels in sphagnum moss basins. Underground irrigation systems were installed at a number of experimental sites.
Researcher: Stéphane Godbout