Irrigation Research Foundation confirms corn yield increases of 10 Bu./A* or greater when NutriSphere-N® is applied through irrigation systems.

After three years of trials in Yuma, Colorado, the Irrigation Research Foundation (IRF) has concluded application of NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager through center-pivot irrigation systems provides a measurable yield increase of more than 10 Bu./A* on irrigated corn.

According to Charles Corey, executive director of the IRF, the use of NutriSphere-N helped keep more applied nitrogen available for plant uptake, regardless of field and moisture conditions. Untreated corn, Corey says, suffered considerably more under varying conditions – such as excessive rainfall, low water application, both hot and cool temperatures and other environmental stresses – throughout the three years of research trials.

"Looking at the outcome of these trials in comparison to the corn not treated with NutriSphere-N, we saw upwards of a 10 to 12* – in some cases 15* – Bu./A yield advantage where NutriSphere-N was applied," Corey says. "The improved plant performance and yield increases were pretty amazing to us."

The field research trial showed:

  • In 2014, corn treated with 150 gallons per acre of UAN and NutriSphere-N produced 15 more Bu./A* than did 150 gallons of UAN applied without NutriSphere-N: 218.5 Bu./A* compared to 203.5 Bu./A, respectively.
  • The same research trial comparison in 2013 yielded 203.5 Bu./A* for the corn treated with the product versus 186.8 Bu./A for the untreated corn.
  • In 2012, the yield differential from application of 175 gallons per acre of UAN with and without NutriSphere-N was 237.7 Bu./A* and 225 Bu./A, respectively.

"This will be our fifth year doing trial work with the NutriSphere-N, and over the years we've seen quite a bit of variation in weather conditions and the amount of rainfall received," Corey explains. "This year, we had our entire annual rainfall in just two days, so it was a real nitrogen-management challenge given the degree of potential leaching and ideal environment for nitrogen loss."

NutriSphere-N, a product from Verdesian Life Sciences, uses a patented polymer technology to keep more nitrogen available for plant uptake by slowing the conversion of nitrogen into forms which can be lost through volatilization, leaching and denitrification. Use of the product with applied nitrogen provides long-lasting protection of nitrogen for up to 10 to 12 months, according to Verdesian.

The IRF is a private, non-profit, independent research and demonstration farm located in Yuma, Colorado. The main purpose of the IRF is to promote proper water usage and to provide a location for testing important issues, crop production methods, products and technologies that affect the region’s agricultural producers. Founded in 1994, the IRF is committed to the conservation of the quality and quantity of the Ogallala Aquifer.

"The biggest takeaway from these trials is you want to make sure you are getting the most value for the money you spend on nitrogen," Corey says. "I think NutriSphere-N – based on our research results – definitely adds value."