The Effects of Split Nitrogen Application and Weather on the Profitability and Environmental Performance of Ontario Corn Production
The use of nitrogen (N) fertilizer is a ubiquitous management practice in conventional corn production in developed countries. Splitting N application timing strongly influences N losses and yield response. While the environmental and yield performance of split N application has been studied, the profitability is unknown. This thesis investigated the agronomic, environmental, and economic performance of such practice compared with traditional methods under alternative weather scenarios in Elora, Ontario. The DeNritrification and DeComposition (DNDC) was used to predict yield and N losses, and the profitability was determined through an enterprise budget. The results show that split application is environmentally viable under all weather scenarios, agronomically and economically viable under alternative weather scenarios. Adjusting the N rate generates higher benefits than adopting a single rate split or pre-plant application. This thesis implies that management practice has significant impacts on corn production's agronomic, economic, and environmental performance under alternative weather conditions.