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Optimizing nitrogen use efficiency

Trainee Achievements

Optimizing nitrogen use efficiency

Tabitha Brown has investigated the role of Precision Agroecology for optimizing Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) for Pacific Northwest wheat cropping systems. The objectives were to evaluate yield-water-NUE relationships among diverse landscape environments; to investigate the impact of seasonal and landscape-level changes in water availability on N flow and cycling; and to use identified field patterns of biophysical characteristics for studying process controls to develop the concept of Precision Agroecology for sustainable agroecosystems and incentive-based N policy. Measurements at the WSU Cook Farm for a matrix of treatments and conditions showed that precision N management resulted in applying 62% less (64 kg ha-1) N while improving yield by 794 kg ha-1 compared to conventional uniform N management (103 kg N ha-1). Trends in the data indicated that seeding rate reductions could maintain or increase yield.