Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced the release of USDA's Energy Estimator for Nitrogen. The Web-based tool was designed to help producers identify potential nitrogen cost savings associated with major crops and commercial nitrogen fertilizer applications.

“The Energy Estimator for nitrogen provides our nation's producers with another new tool to reduce their energy costs and protect the environment," says Johanns. "Encouraging proper fertilizer management is part of USDA's comprehensive energy strategy to help producers mitigate the impact of high energy costs."

Producers using the Energy Estimator for Nitrogen can select up to four crops from a list of commonly harvested crops in their state. Next, they enter the acres of each crop, pounds or units per acre used for each selected form of nitrogen fertilizer, and the nitrogen fertilizer price. Finally, producers select the nitrogen fertilizer application practices - the timing and placement of the fertilizer application and whether or not they used materials that reduce potential nutrient losses to the environment.

USDA intends for producers to use the Energy Estimator for Nitrogen for guidance rather than as a sole source for decision-making on nitrogen fertilizer application. USDA recommends that producers take their nitrogen fertilizer estimates to their local USDAServiceCenter, Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service office, or their crop consultant. The Energy Estimator for Nitrogen identifies a producer's local USDAServiceCenter and provides links to CSREES websites.

You can find more information about USDA's Energy Estimator for Nitrogen at