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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 3, p. 341-344
    Received: Aug 30, 1971

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Effect of Nitrogen Source on Corn and Bromegrass Production, Soil pH, and Inorganic Soil Nitrogen1

  1. J. F. Power,
  2. J. Alessi,
  3. G. A. Reichman and
  4. D. L. Grunes2



Little information is presently available on the effects of N source on dryland crop production in the Northern Plains. Therefore a field experiment was conducted for 4 years to assess the relative merits of ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, calcium nitrate, and urea applied annually at 55 and 110 kg N/ha to both corn (Zea mays, L.) and bromegrass (Bromus inermis, L.) grown on a fine sandy loam (pachic haploboroll) with surface pH of 6.5 and no free carbonates. Plants were harvested at maturity and soils were periodically sampled for water content, inorganic N content, and pH. Corn production was highest for ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate at 110 kg N/ha. Leaf tissue at silking from all fertilized corn contained over 2.8% total N. Soil inorganic N accumulating during the first 3 years under corn was leached below the root zone by 514 mm of precipitation during the fourth growing season. At the 110-kg N rate, bromegrass production was lowest with urea, possibly because of ammonia volatilization. Nitrate sources of N greatly enhanced early season growth of bromegrass. All fertilizer N applied was immobilized in the bromegrass ecosystem, prohibiting any carryover or leaching of soil nitrate. Soil pH changes due to fertilization were not reflected in plant growth.

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