There has been an explosion of new technology intended to advise nitrogen (N) applications. If the last few years have taught farmers anything, it’s that efficiency and timing are increasingly important considerations before, during and after the growing season.

Farmers need to understand N transformation, loss processes and the crop demand curve in order to use N advisory products correctly. Additionally, these processes affect the various technologies in different ways. 

Several University of Minnesota research projects, led by Brad Carlson, extension educator, have investigated the performance of N advisory products including active and passive sensors, crop models and in-season soil testing. 

Brad Carlson

“It is important to remember that these products are advertised to make accurate rate and timing decisions, not to increase yield,” Carlson says. “It is unclear whether yield obtained when these products were used are a result of accurate recommendations or whether they have simply taken advantage of the natural variability of nitrogen responsiveness. Understanding existing research and data is imperative if one is to determine whether their investment in a N advisory technology paid for itself.”

During a classroom session at the 2020 National Strip-Tillage Conference, Aug. 6-7 in Omaha, Neb., Carlson will review the research and key findings including practical take home messages with respect to how best use and evaluate the performance of N advisory tools.

The 7th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Omaha LaVista Hotel & Conference Center and feature 2 days of strip-till education through an array of thought-provoking general sessions, strategy-packed strip-till classrooms and highly collaborative strip-till roundtable discussions.

A $35.00 Early Bird Registration discount is available through May 31, and attendees who register their farm and family members receive additional savings. For more information and to register for the conference, visit

Title sponsors making the learning and networking opportunities possible for strip-tillers include AgroLiquidCopperhead AgDawn Equipment Co.Environmental Tillage SystemsIngersollKuhn KrauseMontag Mfg.Orthman Mfg., Schlagel Mfg., Topcon AgricultureVulcan Equipment and Yetter Mfg. Co.  All 12 companies will exhibit during the 2-day educational event.

We’ll see you in Omaha!