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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 100 No. 5, p. 1274-1279
     
    Received: Jan 28, 2008


    * Corresponding author(s): andraski@wisc.edu
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doi:10.2134/agronj2008.0039

Corn Residue and Nitrogen Source Effects on Nitrogen Availability in No-Till Corn

  1. Todd W. Andraski * and
  2. Larry G. Bundy
  1. Dep. of Soil Sci., 1525 Observatory Dr., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706-1299. Research supported by the Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Program, the Univ. of Wisconsin Nonpoint Pollution and Demonstration Project, and the College of Agric. and Life Sci., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Abstract

Effective N management practices are needed in high residue corn (Zea mays L.) production systems to enhance N fertilizer efficiency and avoid yield reductions due to inadequate N supplies. This 4-yr study was conducted on a well-drained silt loam soil in southern Wisconsin (43°17′ N, 89°22′ E) to determine the effects of corn residue cover amounts on soil and residue N supplying capability, the effectiveness of several surface-applied N fertilizers, and the relative importance of mechanisms potentially contributing to reduced N efficiency in no-till corn systems. Treatments consisted of corn residue level [none (0×), normal (1×), twice normal (2×), and artificial (polypropylene) residue (AR1×)], N fertilizer source (ammonium nitrate, urea, and urea–ammonium nitrate solution), and N rate (0–225 kg N ha−1 in 45-kg increments). Increasing residue levels lowered soil temperatures and early season soil NO3–N production, and reduced corn grain yields without applied N. Ammonia losses reduced the effectiveness of urea-containing fertilizers but did not completely explain the observed N source differences. Nitrogen source effects were similar at all residue levels, suggesting that added N can overcome yield reductions at high residue levels. Yields, N mineralization, and soil temperature were similar in the 1× and AR1× residue treatments, indicating that soil temperature rather than N immobilization is the main contributor to decreased yields at higher residue levels. Differences in early season soil NO3–N production and a similar difference in mean corn N requirement at the 0× and 1× residue levels, suggest that applying about 30 kg ha−1 of extra N will provide yield benefits in some years in no-till corn residue systems.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of AgronomyCopyright © 2008 by the American Society of Agronomy