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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Nitrogen Fertility and Irrigation Influence on Grain Sorghum Nitrogen Efficiency1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 3, p. 419-422
    Received: July 15, 1985

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  1. T. R. Zweifel,
  2. J. W. Maranville,
  3. W. M. Ross and
  4. R. B. Clark2



Little of the research concerning efficient use of N by crops has examined genotypic variation for the amount of dry matter produced per unit of N absorbed by a plant. A replicated field experiment was conducted for 2 yr to determine the influence of N fertility and irrigation on the N use efficiency of selected grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor) L.) Moench] hybrids. Thirty-six F1 hybrids, produced from six female and six male inbreds, were grown under dryland or irrigated conditions with 0 or 112 kg ha−1 N. Samples of the aboveground dry matter were harvested after physiological maturity, separated into leaf, stalk, and grain fractions, and analyzed for reduced N. Hybrid N efficiency was evaluated by ratios of dry weight to plant N content. Significant differences were found among the hybrids and their common parent averages for efficiency ratios, dry weight, and N content. Irrigation had little effect on N utilization efficiency and produced no significant change in the relationship among hybrids for N efficiency. Hybrid N efficiency values were over 30% higher in plots without N fertilizer. Interactions among hybrids and N levels were significant for N efficiency traits and grain weight. Alternate definitions of N efficiency emphasized different characteristics, but the potential for selection of sorghum hybrids with improved efficiency of N use was evident.

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