• Nitrogen Applications

    So that Adapt-N can account for Nitrogen already added to a field (and how much of that N was taken up by the crop vs. lost), it's important to accurately enter each N application into the system.

    In addition to entering the information while configuring individual fields, nitrogen applications can be entered across multiple fields by clicking the "Applications" icon from the left navigation bar, or selecting "Nitrogen" using a zone's view menu option.


    Enter each Nitrogen application, specifying:

    • The type of application (Pre-plant, Starter, Pre-Emergence, or Sidedress)
    • The date of the application (if Starter, date is not required as the planting date is automatically used)
    • The type of fertilizer
    • The amount applied and the units for that application (users have the ability to select lbs-N/ac OR gal product/ac if it's a liquid product and lb product/ac if it's a dry product; Adapt-N will convert units of product to units of N, and vice versa, automatically) 
    • The placement of the application (surface through 10" depth)
    • Enhanced Efficiency Products (EEP) used, if any

    Adapt-N accepts 1 Nitrogen Application of the type "Starter", to represent N applied at planting.  If you have applied more than one type of Nitrogen at planting, you can represent the additional starter applications by adding them as Pre-Emergence applications, specifying the planting date as the Application Date.  Adapt-N will treat this in the same way as Starter.

    Enhanced Efficiency Products (Stabilizers)

    Enhanced Efficiency Products (EEP) options include urease inhibitors, nitrification inhibitors, combined inhibitors, and poly-coated urea. Impacts on N recommendations depend on the effectiveness of the materials, seasonal conditions, management practices, and soil characteristics (esp. organic matter content).

    Adapt-N currently incorporates the specifics of the following active ingredients/trade names into its nitrogen recommendations:

    Active Ingredient Trade Name
    NBPT Agrotain-Ultra/Dry
    NBPT+DCD Agrotain-Plus
    Nitrapyrin N-Serve / Instinct
    MIC NutriSphere-N
    Ammonium/calcium thiosulfates Thio-Sul / CAT
    Poly-coated urea ESN
    NBPT+DCD impregnated Urea SuperU

    Adapt-N's inclusion of, exclusion of, or reference to any trade name is not an endorsement of that product or its manufacturer.  Our modeling of these products is based on research associated with the active ingredients in these products.

    Additional notes on utilizing EEPs within Adapt-N:

    • The use of an EEP must be associated with an appropriate Fertilizer Type in the course of entering a fertilizer application into Adapt-N.
    • When using ESN or SuperU, also select Urea as the Fertilizer Type, as it includes both the fertilizer and control mechanism.
    • Adapt-N is not calibrated for the use of EEPs in conjunction with high rates of manure application at this time. Users are advised against modeling manure applications with EEPs, the effectiveness of this practice is not well understood.


    Nitrogen applications can also be submitted by uploading a shapefile.  With a shapefile upload, users will have to also select which shapefile field correctly corresponds to the units that was selected previously (lbs or gal of product or lbs of N)..shp_file_column_selection.png

    Adapt N will then convert lbs or gallons of product to lbs of N (and vice versa) automatically as shown below.Past_application.png

    To modify existing Nitrogen applications or view them on the map, click View Past Applications



    You can then click Remove, Edit, or View on Map



    Applying an Adapt-N Rec Export to a Field

    Once an Adapt-N recommendation has been exported as a Shapefile* via the Field Recommendation Export page, a new option becomes available on the Field Configuration screen's Nitrogen Applications layer: "Apply Adapt-N export"


    "Apply an Adapt-N export" enables the selection of any past Shapefile* export from this field to be used as a new Nitrogen Application on the field. Fill out the form for application date, type, placement, and Enhanced Efficiency Product, then click to select the desired Adapt-N export file.


    If multiple exports exist for the field, preview the information about each selected recommendation to choose the desired export.


    The system will automatically perform the necessary product rate conversions and apply the exported recommendation back to the field at the appropriate applications rates across the field. If a custom fertilizer was used during the export, you may be prompted to select the most similar standard fertilizer type during the import. This selection is only necessary for loss and uptake modeling purposes, not for product rate conversion purposes (even with custom fertilizers, the actual N-P-K makeup of the product is appropriately converted to pounds of nitrogen).

    A common use for this feature is as follows:

    • configure a field in Adapt-N and use it to generate an early sidedress recommendation
    • apply that sidedress recommendation in the field
    • use this feature to apply that recommendation to the field in Adapt-N on the date it was actually applied in the field
    • Adapt-N continues monitoring the field on a daily basis; use N-Alerts or the Dashboards to see if additional N applications may be needed later in the season

    * = any export that results in a shapefile being produced is available for use via this feature. This includes Adapt-N's standard shapefile export as well as exports to John Deere Operations Center.

  • Manure Applications

    So that Adapt-N can account for additional sources of N (and how much of that N was taken up by the crop vs. lost), it's important to accurately enter each manure application into the system.  Historical manure applications can be entered for up to two calendar years in the past.  For example, valid manure applications for the 2023 growing season would be any applications made on or after January 1, 2021.

    In addition to entering the information while configuring individual fields, manure applications can be entered across multiple fields by clicking the "Applications" icon from the left navigation bar, or selecting "Manure" using a zone's view menu option.

    Enter each Manure application, specifying:

    • Ammonium N and Organic N
    • The date of the application
    • Incorporation Method (Incorporated/Injected immediately, within 2 days, within 5 days, or left on surface)
    • The rate of application (tons/acre or gallons/acre)
    • Percent solids
    • Manure Type

    Manure applications can also be submitted by uploading a shapefile.


    To delete existing manure applications or view them on the map, click View Past Applications



    You can then click view on map, remove, or edit.


  • Irrigation Applications

    So that Adapt-N can accurately model the movement of nitrogen in the soil profile, it's important to enter all irrigation events. 

    In addition to entering the information while configuring individual fields, irrigation applications can be entered across multiple fields by clicking the "Applications" icon from the left navigation bar, or selecting "Irrigation" using a zone's view menu option.

    Enter each irrigation application, specifying:

    • Date of application
    • Inches applied

    Irrigation applications can also be submitted by uploading a shapefile.


    To delete or edit existing irrigation applications or view them on the map, click View Past Applications


    You can then click view on map, remove, or edit.


    For more information on more accurately modeling different types of irrigation practices consult our Additional Irrigation Information article.

  • Additional Irrigation Information

    For furrow, sprinkler, or drip irrigation, it's important to remember that water can be lost on the way to the pump, or after it has been pumped onto the field. The water can be lost to evaporation, surface runoff, or percolation below the rootzone of your crop.

    Determining how much effective irrigation your crop will receive requires making an estimate of the efficiency factor for your irrigation system. The following suggestions are for estimating efficiency between your pump and the field. Start with the range of factors in the table that correspond to your irrigation method. Then consider your local conditions and choose a value in that range. If the weather is especially warm or windy, your efficiency will be lower. If your soil has a loamy texture water infiltrates more slowly and evenly, so your efficiency will be higher than on a sandier soil.

    Irrigation methods

         Field application efficiency

    Furrow (conventional)


    Furrow (surge)


    Furrow with tailwater reuse


    Sprinkler irrigation

         65 - 85%

    Drip irrigation



    The application efficiency along with Rate (gal/min), Area (acre), and Time (hours) can be entered into our Irrigation Calculator (click here to download it in Excel).  The calculator will assist you in determining the correct precipitation equivalent to input into Adapt-N as an irrigation event. 

  • Cover Crops

    Adapt-N models the contribution of terminated cover crops to available nitrogen. This contribution depends on the following inputs:

    Cover Crop Type: select grass, legume, or a mix of the two. Mixes are approximated to mostly grass, mostly legume, or an even mix.

    Cover Crop Stand: select the best description for cover crop stand at the time of termination. Stand refers to the density of plants, which results from original planting density, crop establishment, and/or winter kill. Sparse stand implies lower plant density with large or numerous thin or bare spots. Medium stand implies medium density, moderate winter kill or thin patches or bare spots. Dense stand implies good establishment with little winter kill.

    Cover Crop Stage: the approximate growth stage at which the cover crop was terminated. For mixes, including mixes that are mostly legume, use the growth stage of the grass component.

    Cover Crop Incorporation (after termination): select whether the cover crop was left on the surface, partially incorporated, or fully incorporated.

    Termination Date: enter the date the cover crop was terminated (surface killed or incorporated). This date must be before any spring tillage event.  


    Additional info:



  • Rooting Depth

    The Rooting Depth parameter for a zone is used to determine whether nitrogen that has moved within the soil profile during the season is still within reach of the crop's roots, or whether it is effectively lost.  Adapt-N has developed a database of realistic rooting depth defaults for each combination of soil texture and drainage classification in each county.  However, since management practices and field/weather conditions can have a significant impact on rooting depths over time, we recommend users evaluate actual rooting depth in their fields and make adjustments accordingly.  Consider taking penetrometer measurements to account for compaction and rootzone limitations. Consider weather influences that may impact rooting depth (e.g., very high rainfall tends to reduce rooting depth).


    Evaluating Rooting Depth in a Field

    The easiest time to evaluate rooting depth of a fully grown crop is after the season ends.  In a few representative locations, dig deep enough so you can easily pull out the root mass without breaking off a lot of roots, or dig a small trench and view them from the side. The rooting depth should be assessed based on the vertical proliferation of a majority of roots, not an incidental root that may have gone deeper than most.  We do not recommend relying on rooting depth values from soil survey databases, which tend to be overestimated.  The actual rooting depth discovered should then be applied to Adapt-N for the following seasons.  In the case of a very wet early growing season, it may be worthwhile to assess whether rooting depths are reduced, especially in fine-textured soils and when drainage is imperfect, and update Adapt-n accordingly.

    If you have not had an opportunity to evaluation rooting depth in advance of the season, it can still be evaluated during the season.  We recommend digging up roots no earlier than V7.


    Modifying Rooting Depth Values in Adapt-N

    To adjust rooting depth of an individual zone, access the zone's land information and use the Rooting Depth drop-down to view both the default value and to modify the selected value:



    Zone- and grid-based fields can have their Rooting Depth values modified either as a flat value, or spatially, via the Configure Field interface.  If a Shapefile is provided, values should be specified in inches.  Else, the "Enter a Constant Value" option enables the entire field to be made more shallow, deeper, or set to a specific value.


    When the Rooting Depth panel is open, the top of the Configure Field interface displays the current values across the field.


  • Observations for Crop Emergence, Soil Nitrate, and Soil pH Levels

    User-provided field and zone observations enable Adapt-N to improve its calibration for certain model components by incorporating actual observations from the field.

    Observations can be entered in one of several ways:

    While working with an individual zone, click the “Manage Optional Observations” link in the bottom right navigation panel:


    While working in the Configure Field interface, select from the Emergence Date, Soil Nitrate Test, or Soil pH panels


    While on the Fields & Zones view, select Observations from the Field menu


    Crop Emergence Date Observation

    Adapt-N uses temperature data and accumulated growing degree days (GDDs) from planting to simulate growth of the crop.  Differences in seed varieties, soil conditions, and management practices can lead to some small discrepancies between Adapt-N’s estimated growth stage and one observed in the field.  Providing a Crop Emergence Observation Date enables Adapt-N to recalibrate its growth model as of the date the crop emerged from the ground.  The model then continues simulating the growth of the crop based on GDDs through all future vegetative stages.

    Soil Nitrate Test Observation

    Adapt-N’s Virtual PSNT provides simulated nitrate levels in the top 12” of the soil on a daily basis throughout the season.  Users who are sampling for nitrate levels in the field can enter those test results as an Observation into Adapt-N.  This re-sets the soil nitrate levels for the date of the test,  and Adapt-N’s simulations are subsequently adjusted. Please see this article for detailed information on the use of Soil Nitrate Test Observations and recommended sampling protocol.

    Soil pH Value

    Providing a pH observation from within the field allows Adapt-N to more accurately perform its modeling of nitrogen dynamics if the pH is outside the 6.0 to 6.5 range. If pH corrections, such as applying lime, were made subsequent to soil testing then either do not enter soil pH test results into Adapt-N, or enter target pH values.