DuPont Pioneer is collaborating with eight Midwestern universities through their respective soil nutrition management experts to help growers more sustainably maximize crop yields.
The universities involved are Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, Purdue University, the University of Illinois-Urbana, the University of Minnesota, the University of Missouri, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each university has a three-year agreement with DuPont.
The collaboration centers on nitrogen management practices; nitrogen is applied as fertilizer to cornfields to help increase yields. DuPont agronomists estimate that farmers in the US Corn Belt currently lose $50 to $60 an acre as a result of nitrogen management inefficiencies — with much greater losses occurring during heavy rains.
Results of data collection and research from this collaboration offer opportunities to improve crop nitrogen management, both in pre-plant and in-season fertilizer applications. The research aims to significantly narrow the nitrogen profit loss gap by giving farmers a new ability to plan, monitor and adapt nitrogen management practices to maximize profitability and improve environmental quality in the face of climatic uncertainty, DuPont says.
In other efforts to help growers maximize crop yields, last year Monsanto bought the Climate Corporation for about $930 million in an effort to help farmers use big data to produce more crops while using fewer natural resources. And in April, IBM said its weather forecasting technology will help Georgia farmers improve agricultural efficiency by up to 20 percent.