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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 63 No. 2, p. 322-327
    Received: Oct 3, 1970

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Residual MineraI N Accumulation in Soil and its Utilization by Irrigated Corn (Zea mays L.)1

  1. G. M. Herron,
  2. A. F. Dreier,
  3. A. D. Flowerday,
  4. W. L. Colville and
  5. R. A. Olson2



Field experiments on fine textured soils measured fertilizer and mineralized soil NH4-N and NO3-N accumulation in the rooting profile and the effectiveness with which this residual N was used by irrigated corn. At rates of 168 and 252 kg N/ha there were substantial N gains in the 180 cm soil profile with only limited losses apparent below that depth. Delayed fertilizer application resulted in greater crop use efficiency and more residual N than with preplant application, suggesting greater losses through leaching and gaseous evolution with the latter in early spring months when there are no crop roots for rapid absorption of N. Smaller amounts of residual N remained in soil after corn grown in 51 cm rows for 3 years than with 72 and 102 cm row widths, corresponding with the larger yields obtained and heavier N utilization with 51 cm rows. Corn grain yield was related to residual soil N when no additional fertilizer was used, the quantity from 60 cm depth being proportionately less than that in the 180 cm profile but still quite effective as indicator of yield potential from the N standpoint. Use of a nitrification inhibitor with an NH, carrier clearly served a useful purpose in preserving mineral N in irrigated fine textured soils to the eventual benefit of yield.

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