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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Nitrogen Fertilizer Effects on Growth, Flowering, Oil Yield, and Yield Components in Meadowfoam1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 78 No. 6, p. 1030-1034
    Received: Mar 5, 1986

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  1. C. H. Pearson and
  2. G. D. Jolliff2



Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba Benth.) seed is a source of oil for use in industrial products and processes. Nitrogen fertilization typically has not increased seed yields of meadowfoam. Data are lacking for characterizing plant growth responses, flowering, honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) foraging, oil yield, and yield components of meadowfoam when fertilized with N. Thus, this field study was conducted in 1981 and 1982 on a Woodburn silt loam soil (fine-silty, mixed, mesic Aquultic Argixeroll) to determine the effects of ammonium sulfate applied at 0 (control), 50 (50N), and 100 (100N) kg N ha−1. Increased vegetative growth of meadowfoam in response to spring application of N appears to be consistent. Nitrogen fertilization lowered canopy light transmittance and caused a differential flowering response from nonfertilized plants. Seeds per flower in the N-fertilized treatments were not increased. Flower densities in N-fertilizedtreatments in 1982 averaged 135% higher than in the control. Seed yields were not increased by N in 1981, but in 1982, seed and oil yields were increased by 113 and 99%, respectively, when N was applied. Oil content was consistently lower when N was applied, but this effect was more than offset by the higher seed yield in 1982. Because of the similar response of agronomic characters in 50N and 100N treatments, applications of 100 kg N ha−1 do not appear to be advantageous. Spring N fertilization of meadowfoam increased seed yield primarily through increased flower number.

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