13 Aug 2014

Nutrient Decision Support for Maize Systems

IPNI Working Group #4


This working group oversees the Global Maize Project. This research and demonstration project started in 2009 and is currently located at 20 sites in 9 countries. The project has four major goals: (a) to develop a global network of scientists who are actively working to improve nutrient management of maize using the best science; (b) to use ecological intensification practices to improve yields over time at a faster rate than current farmer practices while minimizing adverse environmental effects; (c) to test the ability of the Hybrid Maize simulation model to predict yield potential at individual maize locations; and (d) to provide data needed to calibrate a nitrogen nutrition model, Maize-N. Project Site


This working group was formed in 2007 to address the projected lack of food security with future global population increases. Working group efforts focus on ecological intensification, defined as a maize production system that “…satisfies the anticipated increase in food demand while meeting acceptable standards for environmental quality” (Cassman, K.G. 1999. Natl Acad. Sci. 96:5952-5959).

Notable Accomplishments

Ongoing: Teams of scientists around the world have been funded and are actively researching ways to ecologically intensify maize production. These scientists are using the research centers to create new, improved nutrient recommendations, train the next generation of scientists, and extend results and findings to those who need them most: farmers and those who advise them. In areas where farmer practices were unsustainable, depleting soils of nutrients, ecological intensification practices are ensuring that nutrients removed by cropping are replaced to keep soils productive for the future.

2017: The National Maize Research Institute of India incorporated the Global Maize Project protocol into their nationwide research, development, and extension program. The Ecological Intensification concept will now reach a much larger audience through on-farm and on-station research and extension funded by the government of India.

2017: Key findings from various project locations were published in a special issue of IPNI’s Better Crops magazine (http://www.ipni.net/publication/bettercrops.nsf/issue/BC-2017-2).

2017: Dr. Vladimir Nosov released a video where he discusses experimental treatments applied in 2011-2015. Additionally, Dr. Olga Biryukova, professor at Southern Federal University, reports on the project findings, including results obtained in nutrient omission plots. Link to the video: https://youtu.be/SbYyM4C82H8.

2016: Findings from the Global Maize Project in China were published in the peer-reviewed journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Research in China found that ecological intensification optimized maize yield, nitrogen use efficiency, and minimized potential environmental risks. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2016.03.038

2016: IPNI South Asia Program staff developed a video highlighting outcomes for the Global Maize Project sites in India. Dr. T. Satyanarayana, Director, South Asia, narrates the video, which highlights the scientific interventions of the Global Maize project in India. IPNI staff and regional cooperators also discuss the benefits of implementing the global project.
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJoMYMYVyPM&feature=youtu.be

2015: Data from all projects were centralized and analyzed to produce the 2015 Global Maize Mid-Term Report. Results indicated that ecological intensification practices increased maize yield by an average of nearly 1 tonne of grain per hectare. An executive summary of this report is available in 'Additional Resources' on the left panel of this page.

    • Luis Prochnow (co-chair), Director, Brazil Program, Piracicaba, Brazil
    • Scott Murrell (co-chair), Director, North America Program, West Lafayette, IN, USA
    • Fernando Garcia, Director, Latin America-Southern Cone Program, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • Ping He, Director, China Program, Beijing, China
    • Raul Jaramillo, Director, Northern Latin America, Quito, Ecuador
    • Vladimir Nosov, Director, Southern and Eastern Russia Program, Moscow, Russia
    • Steve Phillips, Director, North America Program, Owens Cross Roads, AL, USA
    • T Satyanarayana, Deputy Director, South Asia Program, Hyderabad, India
    • Sudarshan Dutta, Deputy Director, South Asia Program, Kolkata, India
    • Shamie Zingore, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa Program, Nairobi, Kenya