A First Look at 2023 Purdue University Data on Instinct NXTGEN® Nitrogen Stabilizer

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Untreated broken ear of corn

At Corteva Agriscience, it is our top priority to ensure our products provide proven, reliable returns on farmers’ investments. This is especially important with our nitrogen stabilizers, as it can be difficult to visualize exactly how these solutions benefit corn acres. That’s why we continually test these products — and work closely with trusted universities to trial our stabilizers and share the results.

Throughout the 2023 growing season, the Corteva Nutrient Maximizer Sales Team partnered with Dr. Dan Quinn, assistant professor of agronomy at Purdue University, to perform several trials of Instinct NXTGEN® nitrogen stabilizer. Trial objectives were to gather the following data: corn yield, plant nitrogen uptake and soil nitrogen availability on plots that received nitrogen treated with Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer versus plots that were left unstabilized.

We sat down with Quinn to discuss his initial findings on those 2023 trials using Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer. Altogether, Quinn and his team conducted 13 total treatments and four replications of each treatment. The varying treatment types represent the most common nitrogen application scenarios that take place in Midwest cornfields. Both urea and UAN 28% fertilizer treatments were represented in these scenarios.

Quinn and his team are still gathering and analyzing the data before final research results are published, but preliminary results suggest two key trends:  

  1. The most significant yield differentiation came from the split application treatment test. “Split applications with Instinct NXTGEN are where we saw the clearest yield response,” Quinn said.

    Eighty pounds of UAN 28% were applied at plant and at about the V4 to V6 sidedress stage on both plots. One plot received a split rate of Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer (12oz./A) with each application. The other remained unstabilized.

    “The yield for the stabilized split application was 289.5 bushels per acre while the unstabilized plot yielded only 279.3 bushels per acre,” Quinn said.

    It should also be noted that plots receiving nitrogen treated with Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer yielded an average of 288.2 bushels per acre, while plots that received unstabilized nitrogen yielded an average of 285.5 bushels per acre.
  2. Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer delays the conversion of ammonium to nitrate following a nitrogen fertilizer application. By extending nitrogen availability in the soil for up to eight weeks, Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer helps ensure the more efficient form of nitrogen is available in the root zone when corn needs it most: during critical growth stages. This is especially important for high-performance corn hybrids that require up to 38% of needed nitrogen post-tassel.

    Soil nitrogen tests were taken in all test plots at four, six and eight weeks from planting. Samples were taken at depths of 0-6 inches, 6-12 inches and 12-24 inches. In nearly all cases, the soil samples showed more nitrogen in the root zone in plots treated with Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer.

    “Preliminary research results suggest Instinct NXTGEN can delay the conversion of [nitrogen] fertilizer applied from NH4+N [ammonium] to N03- [nitrate] following application,” Quinn said.

    This is important, because ammonium is stable in the soil, whereas nitrate is unstable and more susceptible to loss below ground via leaching and denitrification — delaying the conversion of ammonium to nitrate helps lead to higher corn yield potential and prevents excess nitrogen being lost into the environment.

    The nitrogen stabilization offered by Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer was also found to be especially beneficial when applied prior to a rainfall event. “We started off with a very dry growing season but then had some significant rains later in July and August,” Quinn said. “It’s critical that nitrogen is protected whenever we have rainfall, even late into the growing season.”

    When fertilizer is applied without a reliable nitrogen stabilizer, spring and summer rains will drive nitrogen lower into soil profiles, out of the reach of corn roots. “From looking at initial soil sample data, it’s clear that Instinct NXTGEN helped keep nitrogen within reach and extended nitrogen availability later into the season,” Quinn said.

More comprehensive results will be published early next year, but overall, Quinn said he is impressed with how Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer performed in a year with highly variable weather conditions.

“Nitrogen is a farmers’ biggest investment in corn production, so we need to do everything we can to protect it,” Quinn said. “These initial trial results show that Instinct NXTGEN is doing what it’s supposed to — slowing the nitrification process and keeping nitrogen in the ammonium form for the corn crop to use.”

The Corteva Nutrient Maximizer Sales Team plans to partner with Quinn on further trials at Purdue University in 2024. So stay tuned for detailed 2023 results and updates from 2024 in upcoming MaxFacts articles. In the meantime, you can watch this video to learn more about how Instinct NXTGEN nitrogen stabilizer, powered by Optinyte® technology, works to protect your fertilizer investment: <Insert How Optinyte works video:

Instinct NXTGEN® is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Optinyte® is a registered active ingredient. Always read and follow label directions. 


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