BS, MS, and Ph.D. from University of Illinois, Urbana, IL. 18 years as agronomist and manager in the retail fertilizer business in East Central Illinois. Completed Ph.D. in 1993, with thesis addressing field variability of P, K, and soil pH in two Illinois fields. Results are published and publications are listed on this page. Joined NDSU faculty in June, 1994.
Provide educational programs on soil and soil fertility topics to extension agents and specialists, industry professionals, farm producers and the public. Material is presented using meetings, field tours, written material, radio, TV, video and internet resources. Perform applied soils research projects as are relevant to North Dakota producers.
Site-specific Nutrient Management:
I was hired in June, 1993 as Extension Soil Specialist in spite of my background in precision agriculture, corn and soybean production and tile drainage. Now, most of my presentations and research activities are in these areas. My previous Illinois research indicated that it took about 1 soil sample per acre in a grid pattern to depict the soil nutrient (P, K, soil pH) patterns in a field. My work in North Dakota resulted in the same conclusion. A 2 ½ acre grid in the ‘I’ states is only ‘successful’ because the values are mostly in the ‘high’ range, and although variability is present at a smaller spatial scale, the recommendation for P, K is the same; soil pH being the exception. However, into the second year of North Dakota sampling research it became clear that residual nitrate levels form patterns (zones) that are stable from year to year, related to topography. A number of zone delineation tools were researched across Montana, North Dakota and western Minnesota under a mutual USDA grant and we found that these zone delineation tools, including soil EC sensor, aerial photography, satellite imagery, multi-year yield maps, and particularly topography, were useful in forming relevant zones across the region. Today, zone sampling is the most-utilized method of sampling for site-specific nutrient management. The method is preferred over any grid sampling for residual nitrate, but also for all other soil nutrients, except where large buildup quantities of nutrients have previously been applied or large manure applications have been made to a field. After this work, it was also clear that the soil nutrient recommendations for North Dakota were inadequate to relate to the new sampling science. Therefore, from 2005 through the present, significant energy and funds were expended to modernize spring wheat/durum wheat, corn and sunflower recommendations. As part of these studies, active-optical sensors were also used to relate readings with yield prediction. Corn algorithms for use with active-optical sensors to direct side-dress N application for corn have now been published, with investigations on-going for sunflower, wheat and sugar beet. For more detailed information, see my published works under Extension publications and Scientific publications.
Soil fertility research:
Modern N recommendations are now available through Extension publications and on web-based N calculators and phone apps for corn, spring wheat/durum, and sunflower. The basis for these new recommendations are based on hundreds of site-years of data mostly conducted since 2005. The recommendations are not yield-goal based. I found that similar N rates are required in a low yielding environment as in a high yielding environment due to low N mineralization rates and N up-take efficiency in low-yielding environments, and high N mineralization rates and highly efficient N up-take in high-yielding environments. All of our nutrient recommendations will not be yield-based in the future. Modern nutrient recommendations are also available for soybean, field pea, lentils, canola, dry edible bean, barley, rye and winter wheat. Other minor crops will be updated in the next couple years.
Major changes in nutrient recommendations are that P is no longer recommended for flax and sunflower. No yield increases due to P application have been recorded at a frequency that is economically beneficial to either of these crops. The N calculators for corn, spring wheat/durum and sunflower are based on economic production functions, where the yield increase (or decrease) of a crop due to nutrient application is considered for its economic value, less the value of the nutrient required to produce it. I understand that the wheat recommendations are now taught at NDSU in their agricultural economics program as one of the only example of an economic production function in practical use.
Considerable effort has been made in the past few years regarding the use of effective nitrification inhibitors and urease inhibitors. The NCERA-103 committee has a new publication available to highlight chemistries with effective properties and some that have no use for these purposes. The compendium search engine for non-conventional additives and amendments is available with a link at the bottom of my webpage.
Soil and Nutrient Loss from Wind Erosion:
Until a few years ago, I was aware of historical loss of topsoil from North Dakota, but I was unaware of the huge scale of losses incurred, and the scale of ongoing losses. A voice-over YouTube PowerPoint presentation is now available for viewing. It is 38 minutes long. In addition, the NDSU Soil Health website has several items on this topic. A strategy to move towards a no-till/strip-till tillage system should be a long-range goal of every producer in this state, and growers that practice these systems should be on the land-rent ‘A-list’ of every landowner in the region. If not, future farmers will be farming subsoil, not topsoil. Some farmers already have this challenge, and know that these fields are the first to suffer from salt damage, soil crusting, poor soil tilth, wetness issues, greater susceptibility to drought and greater nutrient requirements. They might not be aware that these poor soil qualities are the result of historic and often continuing topsoil loss, but they are.
A. Correndod,* N Tremblay , J. Coulter , D. Ruiz-Diaz ,D. Franzen , E. Nafziger , V. Prasad , L. Moro Rosso , K. Steinke ,J. Du , C. Messina , I. Ciampitti. 2021 PDF download: Unraveling uncertainty drivers of the maize yield response to nitrogen: A Bayesian and machine learning approach. Agriculture and Forest Meteorology Volume 311
G. MacBean, C.J. Ransom, N.R. Kitchen, P.C. Scharf, K.S. Veum, J.J. Camberato, R.B. Ferguson, F.G. Fernandez, D.W. Franzen, C.A. Laboski, E.D. Nafziger, J.E. Sawyer and R.L Nielsen. 2021 PDF download: Soil hydrologic grouping guide which soil and weather properties best estimate corn nitrogen need. Agronomy Journal 2021;1-15
Ransom, C.J., J. Clark, G. MacBean, C. Bandura, M.E. Shafer, N.R. Kitchen, J.J. Camberato, P.R. Carter, R.B. Ferguson, F. Fernandez, D.W. Franzen, C.A.M. Laboski, D.B. Myers, E.D. Nafziger, J.E. Sawyer, and J. Shanahan. 2021. PDF download: Data from a public-industry partnership for enhancing corn nitrogen research. Agronomy Journal 111:4429-4436.
C.J. Ransom, N.R. Kitchen, J.E. Sawyer, J.J. Camberato, P.R. Carter, R.B. Ferguson, F.G. Fernandez, D.W. Franzen, C.A.M. Laboski, D.B. Myers, E.D. Nafzinger, and J.F. Shanahan. PDF download: Improving publicly available corn nitrogen rate recommendation tools with soil and weather measurements. Agronomy Journal 2021;1-23.
Clark, J.D., F.G. Fernandez, K.S. Veum, J.J. Camberato, P.R. Carter, R.B. Ferguson, D.W. Franzen, D.E. Kaiser, N.R. Kitchen, C.A.M. Laboski, E.D. Nafziger, C.J. Rosen, J.E. Sawyer, and J.F. Shanahan. 2020. PDF download: Soil-nitrogen, potentially mineralizable-nitrogen, and field condition information marginally improves corn nitrogen management. Agronomy Journal 112:4332-4343.
Chatterjee, A. and D.W. Franzen. 2020 PDF download: Do we need to apply additional phosphorus for corn succeeding sugarbeet? Agronomy Journal 112:4492-4497
PDF download: Adjusting corn nitrogen management by including a mineralizable-nitrogen test with the preplant and presidedress nitrate tests. Jason D. Clark, Fabian G. Fernandez, Kristen S. Veum, James J. Camberato, Paul R. Carter, Richard B. Ferguson, David W. Franzen, Daniel E. Kaiser, Newell R. Kitchen, Carrie A. M. Laboski, Emerson D. Nafziger, Carl J. Rosen, John E. Sawyer, John F. Shanahan 2020 Agronomy Journal 112:3050-3064
PDF download: Potassium Requirements for Corn in North Dakota: Influence of Clay Mineralogy J. S. Breker, T. DeSutter, M.K. Rakkar, A. Chatterjee, L. Sharma, D.W. Franzen* Soil Science Society of America Journal 2019
PDF download: Soil Sample timing, nitrogen fertilization, and incubation length influence anaerobic potentially mineralizable nitrogen. James D. Clark, Kristen S. Veum, Fabian G. Fernandez, Newell R. Kitchen, James J. Camberato, Paul R. Carter, Richard B. Ferguson, David W. Franzen, Daniel E. Kaiser, Carrie A.M. Laboski, Emerson D. Nafziger, Carl J. Rosen, John E. Sawyer, John F. Shanahan. 2020 Soil Science Society of American Journal 84:627-637
PDF download: Corn nitrogen rate recommendation tools' performance across eight US midwest corn belt states.2020 Curtis J. Ransom, Newell R. Kitchen, James J. Camberato, Paul R. Carter, Richard B. Ferguson, Fabián G. Fernández, David W. franzen, Carrie A.M. Laboski, Emerson D. Nafziger, John E. Sawyer, Peter C. Scharf, John F. Shanahan. Agronomy Journal 112:470-492.
D. Franzen, P. Inglett, C. Gasch. 2019 PDF download: Asymbiotic Nitrogen Fixation is Greater in Soils under Long-term No-Till Versus Conventional Tillage. Soil Science Society of American Journal 83:1148-1152.
G. M. Bean,* N. R. Kitchen, J. J. Camberato, R. B. Ferguson, F. G. Fernandez, D. W. Franzen, C. A. M. Laboski, E. D. Nafziger, J. E. Sawyer, P. C. Scharf, J. Schepers, and J. S. Shanahan. 2018. PDF download: Active-optical reflectance sensing corn algorithms evaluated over the United States Midwest Corn Belt. Agronomy Journal 110: 2552-2565.
G.M. Bean, N.R. Kitchen, J.J. Camberato, R.B. Ferguson, F.G. Fernandez, D.W. Franzen, C.A.M. Laboski, E.D. Nafziger, J.E. Sawyer, P.C. Scharf, J. Schepers, and J.S. Shanahan. 2018. PDF download: Improving an Active-Optical Reflectance Sensor Algorithm Using Soil and Weather Information Agronomy Journal 110: 2541-2551.
M.A. Yost, K.S. Veum, N.R. Kitchen, J.E. Sawyer, J.J. Camberato, P.R. Carter, R.B. Ferguson, F.G. Fernández, D.W. Franzen, C.A. Laboski, and E.D. Nafziger. 2018. PDF download: Evaluation of the Haney Soil Health Tool for corn nitrogen recommendations across eight Midwest states. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 73:587-592. doi:10/2489/jswc.73.5.587
Zhisheng Qin, D. Brenton Myers, Curtis J. Ransom, Newell R. Kitchen, Sang-Zi Liang, James J. Camberato, Paul R. Carter, Richard B. Ferguson, Fabian G. Fernandez, David W. Franzen, Carrie A.M. Laboski, Brad D. Malone, Emerson D. Nafziger, John E. Sawyer, and John F. Shanahan. 2018. PDF download: Application of machine learning methodologies for predicting corn economic optimal nitrogen rate. Agronomy Journal 110:2596-2607. doi:10.2134/agronj2018.03.0222
Eric Schultz, Thomas DeSutter, Lakesh Sharma, Gregory Endres, Roger Ashley, Honggang Bu, Samuel Markell, Austin Kraklau and David Franzen. 2018. PDF download: Response of Sunflower to Nitrogen and Phosphorus in North Dakota. Agronomy Journal 110:1-11
PDF download: Sodic soil reclamation potential of gypsum and biochar additions: Influence on physiochemical properties and soil respiration. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 48:1792-1803
H. Bu, L.K. Sharma, A. Denton and D.W. Franzen 2017. PDF download: Comparison of satellite imagery and ground based active optical sensors as yield predictors in sugar beet, spring wheat, corn and sunflower. Agronomy Journal 107:1-10.
D. Franzen, N Kitchen, K. Holland, J. Schepers, and W. Raun. 2016. PDF download: Algorithms for in-season nutrient management in cereals. Agronomy Journal 108:1-7.
Franzen, D.W., L.K. Sharma, H. Bu, and A. Denton. 2016. PDF download: Evidence for the ability of active-optical sensors to detect sulfur deficiency in corn. Agronomy Journal 108:1-5.
Sharma, L.K., Bu, D.W. Franzen, and A.Denton. 2016 PDF download: Use of corn height measured with an acoustic sensor improves yield estimation with ground based active optical sensors. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 124:254-262
Bu, H., L. K. Sharma, A. Denton, and D. W. Franzen. 2016. PDF download: Sugar Beet Yield and Quality Prediction at Multiple Harvest Dates Using Active-Optical Sensors. Agron. J. 108:273–284.
Sharma, L.K., Bu, and D.W. Franzen. 2016. Comparison of two ground-based active-optical sensors for in-season estimation of corn (Zea mays, L.) yield. Journal of Plant Nutrition 39:957-966
He, Y., T. Desutter, F. Casey, D. Clay, D. Franzen, and D. Steele. 2015. PDF download: Field capacity water as influenced by Na and EC: Implications for subsurface drainage. Goederma 245-245:83-88.
Sharma, L. K., H. Bu, A. Denton, and D. W. Franzen, 2015. Active-Optical Sensors Using Red NDVI Compared to Red Edge NDVI for Prediction of Corn Grain Yield in North Dakota, U.S.A. Sensors. 15:27832-27853; doi:10.3390/s151127832.
Awale, R., A. Chatterjee, D. Franzen. 2013. PDF download: Tillage and N-fertilizer influences on selected organic carbon fractions in a North Dakota silty clay soil. Soil & Tillage Res. 134:213–222.
Franzen, D., D. Long, A. Sims, J. Lamb, F. Casey, J. Staricka, M. Halvorson, V. Hofman. 2011. PDF download: Evaluation of methods to determine residual soil nitrate zones across the northern Great Plains of the USA. Precision Agric. 12:594–606.
Gautam. R., S. Panigrahi, D. Franzen, and A. Sims. 2011.Residual soil nitrate prediction from imagery and non-imagery information using neural network technique. Biosystems Engineering.
Teboh, J. and D.W.Franzen. 2011. PDF download: Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) potential to contribute solubilized soil phosphorus to subsequent crops. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 42:1544-1550.
Franzen, D., R. Jay Goos, R. J. Norman, T. W. Walker, T. L. Roberts, N. A. Slaton, G. Endres, R. Ashley, J. Staricka, and J. Lukach. 2011. PDF download: Field And Laboratory Studies Comparing Nutrisphere-Nitrogen Urea With Urea In North Dakota, Arkansas, And Mississippi. J. of Plant Nutr. 34:1198–1222.
Franzen, D.W., G. Endres, R. Ashley, J. Staricka, J. Lukach, and K. McKay. 2011. PDF download: Revising Nitrogen Recommendations for Wheat in Response to the Need for Support of Variable-Rate Nitrogen Application. J. of Agr. Sci. and Tech. A1:89-95.
Franzen, D.W., M. V. McMullen, and D. S. Mosset. 2008. PDF download: Spring Wheat and Durum Yield and Disease Responses to Copper Fertilization of Mineral Soils. Agron. J. 100:371–375.
Franzen, D.W., T. Nanna, and W.A. Norvell. 2006. PDF download: A survey of soil attributes in North Dakota by landscape position. Agron. J. 98: 1023-1029.
Franzen, D.W., J.H. O’Barr, and R.K. Zollinger. 2004. PDF download: Influence of certain postemergence broadleaf herbicides on soybean stressed from iron deficiency chlorosis. Agron. J. 96:1357-1363.
Franzen, D.W. 2004. PDF download: Delineating nitrogen management zones in a sugarbeet rotation using remote sensing- A review. J. Sugarbeet Res. 41:47-60.
D.W. Franzen, J.F. Giles, L.J. Reitmeier, A.J. Hapka, N.R. Cattanach, and A.C. Cattanach. 2004. PDF download: Use of whole field research to change farm management practices. J. Nat. Resour. Life Sci. Educ. 33:161-165.
Hopkins, D.G. and D.W. Franzen. 2003. PDF download: Argillic horizons in stratified drift: Luverne end moraine, eastern North Dakota. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 67:1790-1796.
Franzen, D.W., J.H. O’Barr, and R.K. Zollinger. 2003. PDF download: Interaction of a foliar application of iron HEDTA and three postemergence broadleaf herbicides with soybeans stressed from chlorosis. J. Plant Nutr. 26:2365-2374.
Franzen, D.W., D.H. Hopkins, M.D. Sweeney, M.K. Ulmer, and A.D. Halvorson. 2002. PDF download: Evaluation of soil survey scale for zone development of site-specific nitrogen management. Agron. J. 94:381-389
Kitchen, N.R., C.J. Snyder, D.W. Franzen, and W.J. Wiebold. 2002. Educational needs of precision agriculture. Prec. Agr. 3:341-351.
Franzen, D.W. and J.L. Richardson. 2000. PDF download: Soil factors affecting iron chlorosis in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota. J. of Plant Nutr. 23:67-78.
Franzen, D.W., V.L. Hofman, L.J. Cihacek, and L.J. Swenson. 1999. Soil nutrient relationships with topography as influenced by cropping. Prec. Agr. 1:167-183.
Franzen, D.W., L.J. Cihacek, V.L. Hofman, and L.J. Swenson. 1998. PDF download: Topography-based sampling compared with grid sampling in the Northern Great Plains. J. of Prod. Agr.11:364-370.
Franzen, D.W. and T.R. Peck. 1997. Spatial variability of plant potassium levels. Comm in Soil and Plant Anal. 28:1081-1092.
Franzen, D.W. and T.R. Peck. 1995. PDF download: Field soil sampling density for variable rate fertilization. J. of Prod. Agr. 8:568-574.
Franzen, D.W. and T.R. Peck. 1995. PDF download: Spatial variability of plant calcium and magnesium levels before and after liming. Comm. in Soil Science and Plant Anal. 26:2263-2277.
Franzen, D.W. and T.R. Peck. 1995. PDF download: Spatial variability of plant analysis phosphorus levels. Comm. in Soil Science and Plant Anal. 26:2929-2936.