Planted Acres to Corn and Projected 2013 Nitrogen Demand

May 1, 2013 09:25 AM
 

USDA projects roughly 96 million acres for 2013, but experts are beginning to wonder if seed will ever make its way to into the soil. Nitrogen imports are on the rise over the prior year, and with applications cut short in fall 2012, the U.S. currently enjoys a nitrogen supply strong enough to cover at least 98 million acres of planted corn.

The table below reflects U.S. nitrogen demand based on expected corn acreage, and applications rates. Application could be tricky this year and we recommend a conversation with your agronomist and soil tests to measure how much nitrogen is really left in your soil. Generous rains and snows have moved parts of the Corn Belt closer to normal soil moisture levels, but as the subsoil recharges itself first, some valuable nitrogen will have traveled deep below the surface and my be out of the root zone altogether.

That being the case, I have provided calculations for a range of application rates to illustrate just how much nitrogen the U.S. needs in 2013.

Million acres of corn
150lbs/acre N
100lbs/acre N
70lbs/acre N
90
13.5
9.0
6.3
92
13.8
9.2
6.44
94
14.1
9.4
6.58
96
14.4
9.6
6.72
98
14.7
9.8
6.86
100
15
10
7.0

 

If acres planted to corn add up to 98 million, and if every grower who plants corn applies N at a rate of 100 pounds of N per acre, national N demand will add up to 9.8 million short tons to get this crop to harvest. Consumption in 2011 was just shy of that at 9.7 million tons. Expected carryover could push application rates closer to 70lbs/acre N and at 98 million acres, consumption would total just 6.86 million tons.

If corn plantings make it to the unlikely tally of 100 million planted acres and application rates are high, nitrogen supplies may feel a pinch, but anything short of that will find plenty of N to be had... now, if we could just get a few days of sunshine strung together.


 

 

 

 

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