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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 82 No. 1, p. 129-134
    Received: Aug 22, 1988

    * Corresponding author(s):


Quantifying the Nitrogen Contribution from Alfalfa to Soil and Two Succeeding Crops Using Nitrogen-15

  1. G. H. Harris and
  2. O. B. Hester 
  1. Dep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824



With the current interest in sustainable agricultural systems, the use of legumes in crop rotations to provide N to subsequent crops is increasing. The objective of this study was to quantify the N contribution from different alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plant parts to a subsequent corn (Zea mays L.) crop, various soil fractions, and a 2nd yr spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) crop. The study was conducted at two field locations in Michigan, on a Capac loam (fineloamy, mixed, mesic, Aerie Ochraqualf) in East Lansing (EL) and on an Oshtemo sandy loam (coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic, Typic Hapludalf) at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in Hickory Corners. Alfalfa shoots and roots/crowns labeled with 15N were applied separately to microplots in Fall 1985 and Spring 1986 at a rate equivalent to 112 kg N ha−1. Corn was harvested and soil was sampled from all microplots in Fall 1986 and analyzed for 15N. Corn

Michigan Agric. Exp. Stn. Journal Article No. 12720.

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