The Nitrogen Grand Challenge

Environmental Stewardship and Liqui-Grow

Environmental Stewardship is essential to what we do at Liqui-Grow. We are extremely committed to helping farmers gain more crop yield per dollar spent on fertilizer while also protecting the environment. Since this is a mission at Liqui-Grow, we’ve decided to take part in the Nitrogen Grand Challenge.

What is the Nitrogen Grand Challenge?

The Nitrogen Grand Challenge, hosted by Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, invites competitors that will provide new and innovative ideas to farmers on managing nitrogen fertilizer for maximum profits and environmental sustainability. The competitors are graded by a formula that incorporates production cost, crop yield, and nitrogen use efficiency; which are all key components of a cost-effective, sustainable nitrogen management program.

There are 3 Phases:

  1. Contestants submit their ideas.
  2. Five best ideas get battle-tested. The five best solutions will go into the ground to see if their idea works on a farm in Northeast Louisiana. They will each get a plot of land to test their specific technology during an entire growing season.
  3. Knockdown drag out fight between two finalists. Judges will determine the winner from the top two contestants.

What is the problem?

“Throughout the world, increasingly fragile coastal and inland lake ecosystems face a common and persistent threat; “dead zones” caused by hypoxia continue to challenge the integrity and productivity of environments that are home to a diverse biota and highly valued natural resources. Dead zones result from excess nutrients flowing from rivers to near-shore areas. Though hypoxia is often thought of as a challenge particular to the northern Gulf of Mexico, dead zones are a problem of global proportions.”

“Hypoxia occurs when the oxygen required to support life becomes depleted, which can result in severe impairment of near-shore fisheries. Consequently, dead zones can also destabilize the businesses, families, and communities that are sustained by fisheries. Further, nutrient enrichment can jeopardize the future of estuaries and coastal wetlands that depend on freshwater and sediment delivery for stability and persistence. In short, clean water is critical to the ecological, cultural and economic well-being of Louisiana, the nation, and the world.”

For more information on the problem, you can visit:

Liqui-Grow’s Contributions to the Grand Challenge

Liqui-Grow feels strongly about their customers’ return on fertilizer investment. A high return on every dollar spent on fertilizer often goes hand-in-hand with high nutrient use efficiency and Environmental Stewardship.

As part of our commitment, Liqui-Grow has enlisted their Agronomy Research Lead, Jake Vossenkemper, to participate in the Nitrogen Grand Challenge. Jake is participating on team CropSmith. They have used their innovative ideas on how to manage nitrogen more efficiently to beat hundreds of other teams. They are now competing in the second round of the Nitrogen Grand Challenge against 4 other teams. The winning team will receive a grand prize of one million dollars, but more importantly, they may lead to groundbreaking concepts of nitrogen management that will lead to greater farmer profitability and environmental sustainability.