North Carolina State University (North Carolina) $45,0750

Refining nitrogen rates for corn in North Carolina using producer-based tools: adapt-n and yield database

Nitrogen management on corn silage and grain acres is costly and risky for producers. Inefficient crop nitrogen use limits yield and results in increased water and air pollution.

Nitrogen application is generally the largest fossil fuel input on corn grain acres. Excessive nitrate levels in groundwater and nitrogen-induced hypoxia in estuarine areas from agricultural sources are persistent concerns for human and ecosystem health. Nitrous oxide lost from soil, which traps about 300 times more heat per molecule than CO2, constitutes agriculture’s largest global warming source.

As the largest user of nitrogen fertilizer, corn production is the principal contributor to these problems from cropping systems. The primary project objectives are threefold: 1) to improve the accuracy and value of NRCS nutrient management investments through the 590 Standard in NC by updating the data upon which recommendations for nitrogen (N) rates are made--the realistic yield expectation (RYE) table for corn; 2) to determine whether Adapt-N, an in-season tool developed in the Northeast United States, can be used to make improved corn N-rate recommendations in the South and thereby reduce N loss to the environment; 3) to provide expanded corn N-rate information to the Multistate Coordination Committee and Information Exchange Group, NEERA-1002 (Adaptive Management for Improved Nutrient Management), as the group moves towards its vision of developing a national database that will use meta-data analysis to increase the reliability of N-rate recommendations for corn.

North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation, Inc. (North Carolina) $207,267

Determine certainty program framework of a market based conservation initiative for longleaf pine habitat improvements in eastern North Carolina

This project will focus on the development of a habitat exchange system framework for wildlife species mitigation at an ecosystem level with an emphasis on market-based conservation and Certainty Program models within the traditional range of the longleaf pine ecosystem in eastern North Carolina.

The integration of these approaches will present a substantial innovation in the delivery of wildlife habitat conservation on a landscape scale and provide a pilot model approach that can be expanded and replicated regionally within the ecosystem and nationally to address other ecosystem needs.