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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 67 No. 4, p. 454-459
     
    Received: Oct 18, 1974


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doi:10.2134/agronj1975.00021962006700040002x

Prediction of Nitrogen Status of Sugarbeets by Soil Analysis1

  1. J. F. Giles,
  2. J. O. Reuss and
  3. A. E. Ludwick2

Abstract

Abstract

The production of high sugar yielding crops of sugarbeets (Beta vulgaris L.) is highly dependent on available N. Excessive N fertilization is frequently cited as a cause of low sugar containing beets, which has become a problem in todays beet industry. The objective of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of N soil tests to predict N fertilizer requirements for this crop.

Fertilizer trials consisting of 4 N rates (0, 70, 140, and 210 kg N/ha) were conducted on 33 farm sites in central and eastern Colorado over a 2-year period. Soils ranged in texture from sandy loam to clay loam and were generally calcareous at or near the surface having a pH > 7.0. The results show that soil NO3-N levels measured before planting are useful in estimating the N requirements of the sugarbeet crop. Soil NO3-N levels were closely correlated with crop yield and sucrose percentage. Regression analysis indicated that yield and recoverable sugar responses to fertilizer N are unlikely when soil NO3-N levels (0 to 60 cm) are > 130 kg/ha. A linear decrease in sucrose percent resulted from increasing N levels. Soil NO3-N had a greater effect on sucrose percentage and plant N content than did an equal amount of fertilizer N during both years. An assessment of the NO3-N content of the soil to at least the 60-cm depth was found to be an adequate index of soil mineral N availability.

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