Since more N fertilizer is applied to corn than any other crop, interest is high for exploring new technologies for improved corn N management. In recent years, light reflectance sensors have been proposed and tested as a technology on which to base sidedress variable-rate N applications in corn. A critical element captured with this sensing strategy is that it accounts for differences within fields associated with soil and landscape factors. These differences result in various levels of N from soil organic matter as well as varied amounts of N loss from fields (e.g., leaching, runoff, or gaseous emissions).
Sensors for on-the-go, variable-rate N fertilization in corn can be used to increase profits and decreases N losses from fields.