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Comparison of nitrogen fertilization methods and rates for subsurface drip irrigated corn in the semi-arid Great Plains

Tarkalson, D.D. and Payero, J.O. (2008) Comparison of nitrogen fertilization methods and rates for subsurface drip irrigated corn in the semi-arid Great Plains. Transactions of the ASABE. 51(5):1633-1643.

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Abstract

In semi?arid areas such as western Nebraska, interest in subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) for corn is increasing
due to restricted irrigation allocations. However, crop response quantification to nitrogen (N) applications with SDI and the
environmental benefits of multiple in?season (IS) SDI N applications instead of a single early?season (ES) surface application
are lacking. The study was conducted in 2004, 2005, and 2006 at the University of Nebraska?Lincoln West Central Research
and Extension Center in North Platte, Nebraska, comparing two N application methods (IS and ES) and three N rates (128,
186, and 278 kg N ha-1) using a randomized complete block design with four replications. No grain yield or biomass response
was observed in 2004. In 2005 and 2006, corn grain yield and biomass production increased with increasing N rates, and
the IS treatment increased grain yield, total N uptake, and gross return after N application costs (GRN) compared to the ES
treatment. Chlorophyll meter readings taken at the R3 corn growth stage in 2006 showed that less N was supplied to the plant
with ES compared to the IS treatment. At the end of the study, soil NO3-N masses in the 0.9 to 1.8 m depth were greater under
the IS treatment compared to the ES treatment. Results suggested that greater losses of NO3-N below the root zone under the
ES treatment may have had a negative effect on corn production. Under SDI systems, fertigating a recommended N rate at
various corn growth stages can increase yields, GRN, and reduce NO3-N leaching in soils compared to concentrated
early?season applications.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1274
Subjects: Soil > Fertility
Soil > Chemistry > Nitrogen
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2008 19:16
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 15:34
Item ID: 1297
URI: https://eprints.nwisrl.ars.usda.gov/id/eprint/1297