Sarah completed her B.S.degree in Agriculture Economics from Purdue University in December of 2013.
As corn yields continue to increase at a declining rate despite higher research investment and more intensive farm management, it is increasingly important to understand how we can best manage our farm inputs to maximize grain yield. Nitrogen has been one of the key nutrients in the management conversation because it represents the largest share of a grower’s fertilizer costs and it is one the most soil-mobile nutrients utilized in agriculture, leading to environmental concerns.
I am interested in ascertaining how we can increase yields of current hybrids through improved nutrient management, particularly nitrogen. My current research focuses on the potential benefit of ensuring nitrogen availability in the soil during the reproductive stages by applying a supplemental rate of nitrogen late in the growing season (V12-V14). I am also interested in the change over time in how much nitrogen is taken up post-silking in modern hybrids compared to hybrids of previous eras, and how we can apply these changes to improve current management. To investigate these questions we are utilizing both current hybrids and hybrids released 20 years ago, and conducting intensive biomass sampling and phenotype measurements to quantify how these hybrids respond to different nitrogen treatments.