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A dynamic model for precision nitrogen recommendations - a step further on digital agriculture

Grant number: 23/15964-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 15, 2024
Effective date (End): June 29, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:Rafael Otto
Grantee:Rafael Otto
Host Investigator: Harold Van Es
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Cornell University, United States  


Corn production continues to increase to attend the demand for food and fuel. Corn production relies on high N consumption for attaining proper yields. Most of N recommendation methods are based on the yield-based approach, whereas the lack of solid agronomic principles results in a growing concern about the reliability of this method in delivering sound N recommendations. In the United States, most of local N recommendation driven by land-grant Universities are based on the Economical Optimum N Return Concept, whereas in Brazil the official bulletins are mostly using the yield-basis concept. Digital agriculture offers a promise to improve N fertilizer usage by the adoption of dynamic models of N recommendation, advancing to a precise N management approach. Our objective is to create a database for corn response to N fertilization under Brazilian conditions, aiming to establish a dynamic model for N recommendation for corn that results in savings of N, reduction in losses and maintenance of yields. Data of corn responsiveness to N fertilization will be collected from peer reviewed, books, and conference papers, in conjunction with data of losses by leaching, denitrification and volatilization. A dynamic model for N management for Brazilian conditions will be developed based on the concept used in the Adapt NTM model created by Cornell University. The expectation is to create a framework that delivers precise N recommendations for corn cultivation in Brazil, delivering N rates that match economical optimum return and reduced N losses to the environment. This project will be undertaken by Prof. Rafael Otto, from University of São Paulo, under the Supervision of Prof. Harold van Es, from Cornell University, in a 12 months post-doctoral period to be undertaken in Ithaca, NY. In addition to the advancement in a dynamic N model, peer review publications will be generated in the period, as well as an important period of training in a world-recognized Institution with leader research on this topic.

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