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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

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


This article in AJ

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

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  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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