The Agronomists, Ep 114: Side-dress decisions on corn with Jason DeBruin and Peter Johnson


It’s corn! And it’s time to discuss in-crop nitrogen management of corn on this episode of the The Agronomists.

Host Lyndsey Smith is joined by Jason DeBruin of Corteva AgriScience, based at Iowa, and Peter Johnson of RealAgriculture, to discuss nitrogen management, minimizing loss, when the crop needs the N. They cover when N needs to go on, how much is enough, and how do we know we’re feeding full potential?

This episode of The Agronomists is brought to you by ADAMA Canada, U.S. Borax, and the Corn School.



  • Rapidly approaching that side dress timing
  • Pete was going to ask questions tonight and not be on the guest side of this, but hey, he’s happy to be here
  • Relatively cool in Ontario for the first part of May. This typically means not as much mineralization
  • Ontario experienced the driest May in 42 years
  • Iowa is seeing drought stressed corn as well
  • What’s the magic number for side dressing?
  • In the United States last year, and in Ontario it was a great mineralization year
  • If you’re doing an in-row nitrate testing before side-dressing, is there an optimum nitrate level you should be at, ora. minimum that would indicate possible yield loss already?
  • Collars vs leaves? Collars is technically more correct, says DeBruin
  • At some point, we do always have to go back to economics

CLIP: How much side-dress nitrogen does the crop need?

  • Nitrate testing. How does the weather play into this? How do we assess those numbers?
  • It’s biologically driven…and complex, because one fields history is different than another fields history
  • Oh, how different the years can be…
  • What about nitrogen stabilizers? Why can’t we just put on more N? Do we need to manage our losses
  • From an environmental standpoint, just more nitrogen doesn’t cut it anymore
  • Uniformity of the spread, and risk are all something you want to keep in mind
  • It all becomes situational specific
  • What’s the worst situation for loss? When you have the moisture to hydrolyze the urea
  • Protect yourself, and think logically! There’s an efficiency factor here, too.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Other Episodes

The Agronomists (view all)Season 4 (2023) Episode 23

Please register to read and comment.


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.