13 Aug 2014

Nutrient Decision Support for Maize Systems

IPNI Working Group #4

The primary goals of this working group are to (a) define yield potential in major maize-growing areas of the world; (b) inventory existing nutrient management decision support tools; (c) perform worldwide evaluations of nutrient management decision support tools; and (d) quantify agricultural nitrogen cycle components in ecologically intensive maize cropping systems.

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).

Current Project(s)
The sole project of this working group is the Global Maize Project. This research and demonstration project, started in 2009, 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

Notable Accomplishments

1. 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.

2. Data from around the world have been centralized and analyzed. The Global Maize Mid-Term Report has been completed that summarizes all of the findings to date. Results indicate that ecological intensification practices increase maize yield by an average of nearly 1 tonne of grain per hectare. An executive summary of this report is attached here (see 'Additional Resources' to your left!).

3. Findings from the Global Maize Project in China Published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment (2016). 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

4. New Video Highlights Global Maize Project Outcomes in India. 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

    • Scott Murrell (co-chair), Director, North America Program, West Lafayette, IN, USA
    • Luis Prochnow (co-chair), Director, Brazil Program, Piracicaba, Brazil
    • Paul Fixen (Liaison), Senior Vice President, Americas and Oceania Group, and Director of Research, Brookings, SD, 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
    • Armando Tasistro, Director, Mexico & Central America Program, Peachtree Corners, GA, USA
    • Shamie Zingore, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa Program, Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Scott Murrell discussing WG04.