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Wrapping up on-farm precision-N research

Principal Investigator: John Sulik

Research Institution: University of Guelph

Timeline: January 2021 – November 2021  


  • Evaluate data aggregation approaches for delta-yield nitrogen fertility on-farm trial data.
  • Delta-yield is an explicit economic assessment of farmer N fertilizer rate decisions – it estimates the economically optimal N rate so a farmer can compare his/her chosen N rate to the optimal.
  • Determine which sensor/field data is essential for scaling up on-farm trials.
  • Draft manuscripts about on-farm experiment findings and submit to peer reviewed journals.
  • Provide in-house expertise for ongoing long-term cropping systems trials.


  • This ‘wrap-up’ funding will facilitate speedy and relevant project deliverables for two on-farm projects aimed at improving N fertilizer management in corn.
  • Advanced analysis of these data will lay an important foundation for the direction of future on-farm research aimed at improving environmental/economic performance of fertilizer N in corn.
  • For field-scale and on-farm N fertilizer research to expand in Ontario, a protocol and data management system for farmer-researcher collaboration is needed; this project will help achieve this.

Scientific Summary:

Considerable data collection has occurred in a 2-year on-farm experiment involving 11 farmer-collaborators. Drawing conclusions from this voluminous dataset which can benefit GFO farmer-members via actionable advice requires a statistician with expertise in field crop agronomy/Ontario corn production. Ken Janovicek, a long-time corn researcher, can fill this gap. The long-term aim of this research is to develop and refine N fertilizer decision support tools for corn tailored to Ontario’s soil and climate conditions

External Funding Partners:

Department of Plant Agriculture (University of Guelph)