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Effect of nitrogen supply by soil depth on sugarbeet production and quality

Tarkalson, D.D. and King, B.A. (2022) Effect of nitrogen supply by soil depth on sugarbeet production and quality. Journal of Sugar Beet Research. 59:1-4. 7 December 2022.

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Nitrogen (N) supply is important in sugarbeet production to optimize yield and quality. Determining the effect of N supply by soil depth on sugarbeet production in the Northwest U.S. is important to continue fine-tuning management practices while minimizing negative environmental impacts. To accomplish this objective, a greenhouse column study was conducted by Amalgamated Sugar Company and USDA-ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory. The study was conducted using thirty, one meter by 0.3 meter columns filled with 0.9 meters of soil. The treatments consisted of adding N fertilizer at a rate of 132 kg N/ha to three 0.3 meter soil depths (depth 1 = 0-0.3 meters, depth 2 = 0.3-0.6 meters, and depth 3 = 0.6-0.9 meters). Each treatment was replicated six times in a randomized block design. Although all treatments (except the control) had a total N supply of 222 kg N/ha in the entire 0.9 meter soil depth, the distribution of the N in the soil profile affected the measured factors. Sugarbeet tuber mass, tuber sucrose mass, leaf (includes stems) mass, tuber N mass, leaf N mass were higher for treatments where N fertilizer was added to depths 1 and 2 compared to when N fertilizer was added to depth 3. Data indicates that sugarbeets were not able to utilize N from depth 3 as efficiently as from depth 1 and depth 2. The N use efficiency measurements (N recovery efficiency, N removal efficiency, and fertilizer N uptake efficiency) were greatest when 132 kg fertilizer N/ha was supplied in depths 1 and 2 compared to when some or all the 132 kg fertilizer N/ha supply was in depth 3. There were no treatment effects on sugarbeet quality factors. The sugarbeet plants did not utilize N in depth 3 as effectively as depths 1 and 2, and N levels in depth 3 did not negatively affect quality. The findings of this study highlight the need to question the value of a depth 3 soil sample for determining N fertilizer requirements. The cost/benefit evaluation of taking a soil sample to include depth 3 (0.6 to 0.9 meters) needs to be further evaluated in the field.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1741
Subjects: Irrigated crops > Sugarbeet
Soil > Amendments
Soil > Amendments > Fertilizer
Depositing User: Users 11 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2022 21:46
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 21:46
Item ID: 1781