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Agronomy Journal : Just Published

 

Accepted, edited articles are published here after author proofing to provide rapid publication and better access to the newest research. Articles are compiled into issues at dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/aj, which includes the complete archive.

Citation | Articles posted here are considered published and may be cited by the doi.

Zhu, Q., M.J. Schlossberg, R.B. Bryant, and J.P. Schmidt. 2012. Creeping bentgrass putting green response to foliar nitrogen fertilization. Agron. J. doi:10.2134/agronj2012.0157

Current issue: Agron. J. 109(5)



  • AGRONOMIC APPLICATION OF GENETIC RESOURCES

    • Jia Guo, Santanu Thapa, Thomas Voigt, Vance Owens, Arvid Boe and D. K. Lee
      Biomass Yield and Feedstock Quality of Prairie Cordgrass in Response to Seeding Rate, Row Spacing, and Nitrogen Fertilization

      Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Link) shows potential as a bioenergy feedstock in marginal croplands across much of the United States and Canada. Objectives of this study were to: (i) evaluate the effects of seeding rate and row spacing on biomass yield and (ii) determine effects of N fertilization on biomass yield and feedstock quality of prairie cordgrass. During 2012, a field trial composed of three seeding rates (162, 323, and 484 pure live seed [PLS] m–2) and three row spacing treatments (19, 38, and 76 cm) was established in Urbana, IL. In the same year, another field trial was established with four N rates (0, 84, 168, and 84/84 [equal split applications during spring and after V6 stage] kg N ha–1). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Field establishment and management of prairie cordgrass as a dedicated bioenergy crop.
      • Evaluate the effect of seeding rate and row spacing on biomass yield of prairie cordgrass.
      • Determine effects of N fertilization on biomass yield and feedstock quality of prairie cordgrass.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.03.0179
      Published: September 14, 2017



    • Awio Bruno, Mukankusi M. Clare, Nkalubo T. Stanley, Gibson Paul, Malinga G. Maxwell, Rubaihayo Patrick and Edema Richard
      Variety × Environment × Management Interaction of Diseases and Yield in Selected Common Bean Varieties

      Understanding variety × environment interaction (VEI) and variety × management interaction (VMI) are critical for deploying superior crop varieties to responsive environments. We evaluated 15 common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) varieties in a split-plot design under two fertilizer regimes, for two seasons, and in six locations in Rakai and Hoima districts, Uganda. We assessed VEI and VMI effects on plant vigor, plant height, number of pods per plant, grain yield, and reaction to angular leaf spot (ALS) (Psuedocercospra griseola), common bean rust (CBR), common bacterial blight (CBB) (Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli), and anthracnose on pods (ANTP) (Colletotrichum linemuthianum) under field conditions. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Varieties were grouped into mega-environments based on the grain yield.
      • Farmers’ variety, KATX69 and KATX56 were stable in grain yield across environments.
      • NABE2, ROBA1, RWR719 and Masindi Yellow Long adapted to specific mega-environments.
      • The landraces, and KATX 69 and KATX 56 varieties were susceptible to the diseases.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2016.11.0681
      Published: September 14, 2017



  • AGRONOMIC APPLICATIONS OF GENETICS RESOURCES

    • Kathleen Russell, Chad Lee and David Van Sanford
      Interaction of Genetics, Environment, and Management in Determining Soft Red Winter Wheat Yields

      The complex interaction of genetics, environment, and management in determination of crop yields can interfere with selection progress in breeding programs. Specifically, the impact on selection for nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in soft red winter (SRW) wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) can be confounded by these interactions. We utilized a multi-environment trial in Lexington and Princeton, KY, from 2013 to 2015 to assess variation in traits associated with NUE based on interactions of genotype × environment × management (G×E×M). The NUE traits were measured on 10 genotypes under three management levels and four levels of N fertility. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Reducing N rates did not have significantly reduce wheat yields.
      • Incremental application of N increased wheat yields over conventional application.
      • Earlier maturing wheat genotypes had greater postanthesis N uptake than later lines.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.02.0126
      Published: August 31, 2017



  • AGRONOMY, SOIL & ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

    • Wei Ping Li, Hai Bin Shi, Ke Zhu, Qian Zheng and Zhao Xu
      The Quality of Sunflower Seed Oil Changes in Response to Nitrogen Fertilizer

      Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) has emerged as a very important crop in China due to the economic value of vegetable oil production. A 2-yr field experiment was conducted in 2013 and 2014 to determine the effect of different N fertilizer application levels on the oil quality of a sunflower hybrid Kang Di T562 grown in the Hetao irrigation district, a sub-arid region in China. The effects of N fertilizer were evaluated for three characteristics of oil from sunflower seeds: crude fat content (CFC), protein content, and fatty acid composition. The results showed that N fertilizer application had a significant effect on CFC, protein content, and fatty acid composition (oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Topdressing N increase the content of crude fat and linoleic acid in sunflower seeds.
      • More topdressing N reduces the content of protein, oleic acid, and palmitic acid.
      • Crude fat content significantly correlated with protein content in sunflower seeds.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.01.0046
      Published: September 14, 2017



  • AGRONOMY, SOILS & ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

    • S. Begna, S. Angadi, M. Stamm and A. Mesbah
      Winter Canola: A Potential Dual-Purpose Crop for the United States Southern Great Plains

      Winter canola (Brassica napus L. biennus) has the potential to be a dual-purpose crop in the US Southern Great Plains, a region with cereal fallow mono-cropping. However, there is little information on dual-purpose canola in the region. Therefore, field studies were conducted in Clovis, NM, in 2013, 2014, and 2015 to compare harvesting time effect on forage productivity (dry matter), quality, and oil and seed production of canola and wheat. Harvesting time treatments were late-fall (LF), mid-winter (MW), early-spring (ES), late-spring (LS), and no-harvest (NH). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Canola forage production was higher than wheat in fall but not in later harvests.
      • Many of the forage quality parameters were superior in canola compared with wheat.
      • Forage harvest decreased canola yield even before bolting but not in wheat.
      • Canola has dual-purpose use potential (forage and seed yield) with LF harvest.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.02.0093
      Published: September 21, 2017



    • Tao Ma, Wenzhi Zeng, Qi Li, Xu Yang, Jingwei Wu and Jiesheng Huang
      Shoot and Root Biomass Allocation of Sunflower Varying with Soil Salinity and Nitrogen Applications

      Soil salinity (S) is one of the most important abiotic stresses limiting crop production in arid and semiarid regions. This study was conducted to investigate the interactive effects of S and nitrogen (N) fertilizer on shoot and root biomass allocation of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) at different growth stages. Outdoor field and pot experiments were performed in the Hetao Irrigation District, China. The field study consisted of a 3 × 2 factorial design with three salinity levels (S0: electrical conductivity of a saturated-paste extract [ECe] = 1.9 dS m−1; S1: ECe = 7.4 dS m−1; S2: ECe = 12.7 dS m−1) and two N application rates (low: 45 kg N ha−1; moderate: 135 kg N ha−1); the S2 treatment was not included in pot study. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Soil salinity could be alleviated by proper use of N fertilizer.
      • No alleviation effect of additional N fertilizer is seen under saline conditions in sunflower’s seedling stage.
      • A pot experiment might not be an acceptable substitute for field trail.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.04.0194
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Steven K. Vosberg, David A. Marburger, Damon L. Smith and Shawn P. Conley
      Planting Date and Fluopyram Seed Treatment Effect on Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome and Seed Yield

      A new commercially available fungicide seed treatment, fluopyram, has potential for allowing producers to utilize optimal soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] planting dates while simultaneously reducing the impact of sudden death syndrome (SDS). A study was conducted in 2015 and 2016 at three locations throughout Wisconsin (Arlington, Hancock, and East Troy) to examine interactions between planting date and fluopyram seed treatment use on SDS symptom development and soybean seed yield. Three seed treatments: (i) non-treated (control); (ii) EverGol Energy + clothianidin + Bacillus firmus (Poncho/VOTiVO, P/V [Bayer CropScience, Research Triangle Park, NC]); and (iii) EverGol Energy + clothianidin + Bacillus firmus + fluopyram (Poncho/VOTiVO/ILeVO [Bayer CropScience, Research Triangle Park, NC], P/V/I) were tested on two cultivars that differed in SDS susceptibility. Experiments at Arlington and Hancock were planted on three target planting dates (1 May, 20 May, and 10 June). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Planting date did not consistently influence sudden death syndrome development.
      • Fluopyram use led to increased yield in the highest symptom environment recorded in this study.
      • This study suggests that utilizing fluorpyram seed treatment can help maximize soybean yield.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.04.0232
      Published: August 31, 2017



    • Timothy James Grant, Brian G. Leib, Hubert J. Savoy, David A. Verbree and Amir Haghverdi
      Cotton Response to Irrigation and Nitrogen Source in Differing Mid-South Soils

      Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) irrigation management is challenging in a humid region, where rainfall is unpredictable and soils range from coarse-textured to fine-textured. Loss of applied N in coarse-textured soils receiving high amounts of irrigation is a concern for producers. This study was conducted to improve cotton irrigation recommendations in differing soils in the Mid-South and to evaluate the effect of a controlled release N fertilizer on N uptake and yield of cotton grown in different soils and irrigation regimes. The effects of irrigation initiation/rate and N source on cotton yield and N uptake were investigated in Jackson, TN, in soils that differed in texture. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Cotton yield and N uptake are examined across irrigation regimes, N sources, and soils.
      • In two wet growing seasons, cotton in silt loam soils did not respond to irrigation.
      • Cotton in coarse-textured soils required irrigation beginning at bloom in wet years.
      • Use of controlled release N resulted in generally lower yields than ammonium nitrate .
      • In coarse-textured soils, cotton yielded similarly between N sources.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.03.0147
      Published: August 23, 2017



  • BIOMETRY, MODELING & STATISTICS

    • Bingshuai Cao, Shan Hua, Yuntao Ma, Baoguo Li and Chuanqing Sun
      Evaluation of ORYZA2000 for Simulating Rice Growth of Different Genotypes at Two Latitudes

      Light distribution and light use efficiency in a cereal canopy are affected by the plant architecture of different genotypes as well as solar altitude at contrasting latitudes. This study was conducted to determine whether the spatiotemporal distribution of solar radiation in a rice (Oryza sativa L.) canopy could be accurately quantified using the ORYZA2000 model. We calibrated and evaluated ORYZA2000 for three rice varieties with contrasting aerial architecture (in terms of, e.g., growth habit, plant heights, and number of tillers), using data from two field experiments performed in China at two markedly different latitudes: in Beijing (ca. 40° N) and Sanya (ca. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The simulations of biomass and leaf area index in ORYZA2000 were sensitive to the aerial architecture and latitudinal variations in extinction coefficient.
      • The KDF values calibrated by trial and error greatly improved the simulated values.
      • The ORYZA2000 could be used to evaluate effects of different plant architectures on rice growth and development.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.03.0145
      Published: September 14, 2017



    • D. A. Katsileros, S. Hadasch, H. P. Piepho and G. N. Skaracis
      Evaluating the Competitive Ability of Durum Wheat Varieties

      When two varieties are grown in neighboring plots, they compete for resources like nutrients, water, and solar energy. The performance of the two varieties under competition depends on their competitive ability, which comprises (i) the ability of a variety to withstand suppression by another variety and (ii) the ability to suppress the other variety. In this article, a linear mixed model was used to evaluate the competitive ability in terms of (i) and (ii). Furthermore, a measure to determine the synergistic effects of two competing varieties, which indicates if two competing varieties interact, is proposed. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Competition of wheat varieties was assessed by growing them in neighboring plots.
      • The competitive abilities of the varieties were categorized using a linear mixed model.
      • Using the mixed model, we propose a measure to test the interaction of two varieties.
      • Competitive abilities can be used to identify varieties that may be grown in a variety mixture.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.02.0103
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Prem Woli, Francis M. Rouquette Jr., Charles R. Long, Prasanna Gowda and Diego N. L. Pequeno
      Simulated Bermudagrass Production and Nitrate Leaching Affected by El Niño-Southern Oscillation, Soil, and Clipping Frequency

      Coastal bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is the basis for many forage production systems in the southern United States. The agro-environmental studies on this grass, however, are limited for this region. This study, using the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) crop model, assessed the bermudagrass dry matter (DM) yield and N-leaching responses to clipping interval, soil type, and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Pineywoods region of Texas. The response variables were simulated for various scenarios including two soil types, five clipping intervals, and 74 yr of weather data. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Coastal bermudagrass biomass was curvilinearly related with clipping interval.
      • Clipping intervals shorter than 4 wk could not be beneficial to the grass growers.
      • Nitrate leaching was more and biomass was less on a higher runoff-potential soil.
      • El Niño was associated with high nitrate leaching and the low biomass yield.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.05.0268
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Ping Yang, Biao Jia and Zhong Zheng
      Modeling Cotton Growth and Nitrogen Status Using Image Analysis

      Image analysis techniques have been widely used to monitor crop growth and diagnose crop N status. The main objective of this study was to develop an image analysis method for monitoring cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) growth and N status with images taken by a digital camera. The experiment was consisted of two cotton cultivars grown under five different N application rates. Ten color indices were extracted from images of the cotton canopy taken between emergence and full bloom. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The study developed an image analysis approach for extracting the color features of a cotton canopy with a digital camera.
      • The study verified the models using data collected from three fields of high-yielding cotton.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.04.0220
      Published: September 7, 2017



  • CROP ECOLOGY & PHYSIOLOGY

    • Sieg Snapp, Brook Wilke, Lowell E. Gentry and Danielle Zoellner
      Compost Legacy Down-Regulates Biological Nitrogen Fixation in a Long-Term Field Experiment

      Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is a fundamental process relied on in agriculture, yet few field studies have examined regulation through soil inorganic N feedbacks or considered seasonal effects. In a Michigan long-term field experiment we examined soil labile C and N pools and impact on BNF in two species, over multiple years. The 15N natural abundance method was used to quantify BNF, with nodulated and non-nodulated soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] isolines and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). Soil organic C status of plots was consistent with a gradient established through historical inputs: 0.8% (fertilizer management) to 0.9% (+ cover crop) to 1.2% (+ compost + cover crop). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Compost-based management enhanced soil organic matter in a Michigan Alfisol.
      • Nitrogen fixation rates in soybean and red clover varied with management history.
      • Weather markedly influenced the quantity of N fixed in three crop systems.
      • Soil labile pool influence on N fixation can act as an internal regulator.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.03.0152
      Published: August 31, 2017



  • CROP ECONOMICS, PRODUCTION & MANAGEMENT

    • Zachary P. Eder, Sukhbir Singh, Dan D. Fromme, Dale A. Mott, Amir M. H. Ibrahim and Gaylon D. Morgan
      Cotton Harvest Aid Regimes and Their Interaction with Cotton Cultivar Characteristics Impacting Leaf Grade

      Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) leaf grade values significantly increase with remnants of leaf and bract materials in cotton lint and can result in economic discounts to the producers. We are hypothesizing that cotton harvest aid regimes, and level of defoliation and desiccation are contributing factors in higher cotton leaf grades. The interaction of morphological characteristics of cotton cultivars and the various harvest aid regimes were evaluated to identify key factors contributing to the increased leaf grade values. Multiple trials were conducted during 2010, 2011, and 2012 in Burleson, Colorado, and Matagorda counties in South and southeastern Texas. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Defoliation or desiccation levels did not impact leaf grade values.
      • Leaf grades values increased with higher leaf trichome densities.
      • Plant morphological factors other than leaf hairiness did not impact cotton leaf grade values.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.03.0169
      Published: September 7, 2017



  • FORUM

    • Alison J. Eagle, Laura E. Christianson, Rachel L. Cook, R. Daren Harmel, Fernando E. Miguez, Song S. Qian and Dorivar A. Ruiz Diaz
      Meta-Analysis Constrained by Data: Recommendations to Improve Relevance of Nutrient Management Research

      Five research teams identified parallel obstacles when concurrently attempting to conduct meta-analyses on the air and water quality impacts of on-farm 4R nutrient management practices. Across projects, system complexity and the lack of relevant data from cultivated and grassland agriculture field trials impeded the application of standard meta-analytical procedures. Because challenges were comparable across projects, the 4R Research Fund technical leadership tasked the researchers with recommending improvements in field research design, data collection, and reporting to enhance future agri-environmental data syntheses and meta-analyses. Here we outline statistical and analytical issues unique to meta-analysis and data synthesis in agriculture, discuss critical data and reporting gaps in the existing literature, and provide specific recommendations for researchers, funders, and journals. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Data and reporting deficiencies reduce the effectiveness of agri-environmental meta-analysis.
      • Standardization and consistency across studies will enhance data synthesis and meta-analysis.
      • Reporting standard sets of data and meta-data will extend the value of agricultural field research.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.04.0215
      Published: September 14, 2017



  • INTERNATIONAL TURFGRASS SOCIETY CONFERENCE

    • Jerry Hatfield
      Turfgrass and Climate Change

      Climate change is occurring and is impacting biological systems through increased temperatures, more variable precipitation, and increased CO2 in the atmosphere. These effects have been documented for agricultural species, primarily grain crops, pasture and rangeland species. The extension of these relationships to turfgrass has been limited; however, these plants are an important part of our ecosystems and preservation of these plantings adds to social value and ecosystem services. Turfgrasses can be divided into cool-season and warm-season species and the projected changes in maximum air temperatures, along with increased root zone temperatures may promote a Northward migration of warm-season turfgrasses. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Climate change will affect temperature and precipitation patterns.
      • Increasing temperatures will cause a shift in turfgrass species to more northen climates.
      • Variation among varieties of turfgrass provide opportunity to increase climate resilience.
      • Climate change will increase abiotic and biotic stresses on turfgrass.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2016.10.0626
      Published: June 1, 2017



  • NOTES & UNIQUE PHENOMENA

    • Cristina Pornaro, Stefano Macolino, Alessandro Menegon and Mike Richardson
      WinRHIZO Technology for Measuring Morphological
      Traits of Bermudagrass Stolons

      WinRHIZO, a root-measuring system, may provide an alternative, reliable, and fast method to analyze stolon morphology of grass species. This study evaluated the possibility to use WinRHIZO technology to measure total length and average diameter of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] stolons. The length and diameter of 70 stolons collected from four turf-type cultivars and a wild bermudagrass were measured with a ruler (length) and caliper (diameter), and using WinRHIZO technology, a scanner-based image analysis system. The scanned length closely predicted the manually measured one and can be successfully used to determine stolon length in samples with a significant amount of biomass. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • WinRHIZO technology may provide a method to analyze stolon morphology of grasses.
      • The scanned length closely predicted the manually measured one.
      • WinRHIZO technology overestimated diameter when the whole stolon was scanned.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.03.0187
      Published: August 23, 2017



  • ORGANIC AGRICULTURE & AGROECOLOGY

    • Matthew Vann, Nathan Bennett, Loren Fisher, S. C. Reberg-Horton and Hannah Burrack
      Poultry Feather Meal Application in Organic Flue-Cured Tobacco Production

      Information on N management in organic flue-cured tobacco production is limited. Research was conducted from 2012–2013 to determine the effects of two certified organic N sources applied at three rates on the yield, quality, and chemical constituents of flue-cured tobacco. These organic N sources included Nature Safe 13–0–0 (NS) and Nutrimax 12–1–0 (NM), both of which consisted of hydrolyzed poultry feather meal. Application rates for both fertilizer sources were 17 kg N ha–1 above recommendation (B+), at recommendation (B), and 17 kg N ha–1 below recommendation (B–). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Poultry feather meal is acceptable in organic flue-cured tobacco production.
      • Application rates of organic N should reflect those in conventional production.
      • Soil moisture is critical for N mineralization and assimilation.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.05.0287
      Published: August 31, 2017



  • PEST INTERACTIONS IN AGRONOMIC SYSTEMS

    • Prashant Jha and Vipan Kumar
      Pulse Crop Tolerance and Weed Control with Fall-Applied Soil-Residual Herbicides

      Weed management is a challenge for pulse producers in the northern Great Plains (NGP). Multi-location trials were conducted in Montana to evaluate crop safety and weed control in spring-planted pulse crops from soil-residual herbicides applied the previous fall in postharvest wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) stubble. Dry pea (Pisum sativum L.), lentil (Lens culinaris L.), and chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) were planted the subsequent spring in herbicide-treated plots. Metribuzin (210 or 420 g ha–1), flumioxazin (107 or 214 g ha–1), pyroxasulfone (119 or 238 g ha–1) + carfentrazone (8 or 16 g ha–1), pendimethalin (532 or 1064 g ha–1) + dimethenamid-P (945 or 1890 g ha–1), sulfentrazone (164 or 328 g ha–1) + carfentrazone (18 or 36 g ha–1), sulfentrazone (101 or 202 g ha–1) + metribuzin (151 or 302 g ha–1) applied the previous fall had no significant visual injury (≤8% early-season) or yield reductions in dry pea and chickpea. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Limited weed control tools is a challenge for pulse production in the northern Great Plains.
      • Soil-applied residual herbicides are an important component of integrated weed management programs.
      • Most herbicide programs adequately controlled kochia and Russian-thistle in the pulse crops.
      • Season-long control of kochia and Russian thistle in dry pea, lentil, and chickpea.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.06.0320
      Published: September 7, 2017



  • SOIL FERTILITY & CROP NUTRITION

    • Valéria X. O. Apolinário, José C. B. Dubeux Jr, Mário A. Lira, Alexandre C. L. Mello, Mércia V. F. Santos, James P. Muir and Erinaldo Viana de Freitas
      Nitrogen and Grazing Affect Napier Grass Leaf Litter Biomass and Decomposition

      Stocking rate (SR) and N fertilization are important management practices that may alter nutrient cycling. We tested three SR [2, 3.9, and 5.8 animal units (AU) ha–1; 1 AU = 450 kg BW] and three N rates (0, 150, and 300 kg N ha–1yr–1) on litter mass, chemical composition, and decomposition in a napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.) pasture. Fertilizer rate did not change (P = 0.4658) litter accumulation but decomposition after 254 d was greatest (P ≤ 0.05) at the greatest management intensity. Litter mass was affected by a year × month interaction (P ≤ 0.01), but in general the greatest litter mass occurred (P ≤ 0.05) at the end of the growing season, and carried over to beginning of the next growing season. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Stocking rate reduced litter deposition.
      • Management intensity affected litter decomposition.
      • Nitrogen fertilization did not change litter deposition in grazed pastures.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.06.0308
      Published: September 14, 2017



    • Hu Zhou, Huan Fang, Chunsheng Hu, Sacha Jon Mooney, Wenxu Dong and Xinhua Peng
      Inorganic Fertilization Effects on the Structure of a Calcareous Silt Loam Soil

      Inorganic fertilizers have been intensely used in the North China Plain (NCP) to maintain or increase crop yields, but their effects on soil physical properties, especially soil structure, are unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of 12 yr of successive application of inorganic fertilization on soil aggregate stability, pore structure, and hydraulic properties of a calcareous silt loam soil. A long-term field experiment (2001–2013) was established at Luancheng Ecosystem Station, NCP. The experiment included three fertilization treatments: (i) inorganic fertilizer, NPK; (ii) inorganic fertilizer and organic manure, NPKOM; and (iii) a control treatment with no fertilizer, CK. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Long-term inorganic fertilization decreased aggregate stability.
      • Long-term inorganic fertilization decreased soil macroporosity.
      • Long-term inorganic fertilization did not change soil organic C content.
      • Soil water-holding capacity was not affected by inorganic fertilization.
      • Swine manure combined with inorganic fertilizers improved soil structure.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2016.10.0590
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Chester E. Greub, Trenton L. Roberts, Nathan A. Slaton and Jason P. Kelley
      Pre-Plant Nitrogen Fertilizer Uptake and Partitioning in Furrow-Irrigated Corn

      Nitrogen fertilizer is routinely required to produce maximum corn (Zea mays L.) yield in the mid-South. Two field experiments were established to evaluate the fertilizer-N recovery and partitioning of 15N-labeled urea applied pre-plant to furrow-irrigated corn at the R6 growth stage. Pre-plant 15N-labeled fertilizer was applied at rates of 0, 34, 67, and 100 kg N ha–1 using application methods including an incorporated, surface broadcast, and water-furrow application. Additional non-labeled N was applied in-season at the V6 growth stage so that the season-total N fertilizer rate applied in all treatments receiving N was equal to 270 kg N ha–1. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Pre-plant N rate and application method displayed no significant influence on end-of-season corn total N uptake when adequate N is applied in-season.
      • Approximately 75% of the pre-plant N that was recovred in the corn plant at maturity was taken up after the V6 growth stage.
      • Results indicate that about 60 to 85% of pre-plant fertilizer N applied to corn was not recovered by the plant, indicating a low recovery of pre-plant N fertilizer in furrow-irrigated mid-South corn.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.04.0234
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Rui Tao, Steven A. Wakelin, Yongchao Liang and Guixin Chu
      Organic Fertilization Enhances Cotton Productivity, Nitrogen Use Efficiency, and Soil Nitrogen Fertility under Drip Irrigated Field

      The objective of this study was to explore how partially substituting mineral fertilizer (MF) with organic fertilizer (cattle manure [CM] and biofertilizer [BF]) affects the cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) productivity, nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), and soil nitrogen status of a drip-irrigated system. A field trial for two consecutive years was established, and 3.0 to 6.0 Mg ha–1 of organic fertilizer, either as CM or BF, plus 60 to 80% MF was applied. The results indicated that cotton productivity, including the aboveground biomass and seed cotton yield, was significantly increased (P < 0.05) in both 2013 and 2014 compared with the MF treatment. The greatest biomass (20.9 Mg ha–1) and seed cotton yield (7.43 Mg ha–1) were obtained in the treatment incorporating 60% MF and 6.0 Mg ha–1 BF. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The effect of partially substituting mineral fertilizer with organic material was analyzed.
      • Organic fertilizer significantly increased cotton productivity and nitrogen use efficiency.
      • Bio-fertilizer produced greater improvements in soil N fertility than did cattle manure.
      • Cotton yields were highest with 6.0 Mg ha–1 bio-fertilizer plus 60% mineral fertilizer.
      • Organic fertilization is a sustainable practice in drip-irrigated cotton fields.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.01.0054
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Péter Kovács and Tony J. Vyn
      Relationships between Ear-Leaf Nutrient Concentrations at Silking and Corn Biomass and Grain Yields at Maturity

      Historically, corn (Zea mays L.) ear-leaf N concentrations at mid-silking have been positively correlated with grain yield (GY). Many state and regional fertilizer recommendations provide “nutrient sufficiency ranges” or threshold nutrient concentrations for N and other nutrients in ear leaves sampled at silk emergence, but these are based on studies conducted decades ago with much lower yielding hybrids grown at lower plant densities. In response to this potential knowledge gap, we collected corn ear-leaf samples at mid-silking in field studies conducted near West Lafayette, IN, from 2010 to 2016. These field studies involved comparisons of multiple hybrids, plant densities or tillage systems for their response to nutrient management alternatives (e.g., macronutrient rates, placement, and timing). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Ear-leaf nutrient concentrations at silking correlated strongly with corn grain yield .
      • Ear-leaf nutrient concentrations at silking correlated strongly with whole-plant biomass.
      • Ear-leaf N, P, S, Cu, and Fe concentrations explained most of the grain yield variation.
      • State recommendations for certain minimum nutrient concentrations may need adjustment.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.02.0119
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • N. Maman, M. K. Dicko, A. Gonda and C. S. Wortmann
      Sorghum and Groundnut Sole and Intercrop Nutrient Response in Semi-Arid West Africa

      Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench)–groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) intercropping is important in the Sahel and Sudan Savanna. Nineteen trials were conducted during 2014 and 2015 in Mali and Niger for determination of: response functions for sorghum sole crop (SSC) and intercrop to N, P, and K; effects of the P×N interaction and of a nutrient package for diagnosis of other deficiencies; and a procedure for estimation of intercrop functions from SSC response functions. Six Niger on-station trials included treatments for determination of intercrop effects on sorghum yield and response. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Sorghum–groundnut intercropping is agronomically and economically important in West Africa.
      • Intercrop nutrient response functions are needed to maximize profit from fertilizer use.
      • Intercrop response functions can be estimated from sole crop responses.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.02.0120
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Ming Zhang, Lifeng Wang, Yongshan Wan, Fengzhen Liu and Kun Zhang
      Rational Nitrogen Strategies Can Improve Peanut Source Supply Capacity and Pod Yield

      Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an important oil crop in China. Its cultivated area is about 4850 kha and production is about 17,700 kt in 2016, they both account for the first in the world. During peanut production in China, N fertilizer is applied one time as basal fertilizer, this causes overproduction during vegetative growth and early leaf senescence in the reproductive stage, resulting in decreased pod yield. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate peanut pod yield under different N fertilizer strategies. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • N4 treatment gained the highest yield and nitrogen use efficiency.
      • N4 treatment delayed the senescence of leaf blades in the late developmental stage.
      • N4 treatment improved photosynthetic function in the late development stage.
      • N4 treatment enhanced source supply capacity for peanut seed filling.
      • Peanuts in the northern peanut production area of China should be fertigated with N4.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.03.0190
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Nutifafa Adotey, Manoch Kongchum, Jifeng Li, Garnett B. Whitehurst, Eric Sucre and Dustin L. Harrell
      Ammonia Volatilization of Zinc Sulfate-Coated and NBPT-Treated Urea Fertilizers

      A study was conducted to determine ammonia loss from surface-broadcast urea, urea treated with three rates of N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT), and experimental zinc sulfate (ZnSO4)-coated urea (ZSCU) fertilizers with or without urease inhibitors. Four trials were conducted in environmentally regulated boxes over a 14-d period. Cumulative ammonia loss from urea was 13.98, 15.57, 23.07, and 27.74% of applied N for the Mowata, Crowley H, Crowley L, and Kinder soils, respectively. Cumulative ammonia loss from urea was greater than all rates of NBPT-treated urea (5.57–13.35%) and ZSCU fertilizer containing urease inhibitors (2.63–11.50%) across soil types. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Combining Zn sulfate-coated urea with low percent NBPT improved ammonia volatilization control in low pH soil when compared to the recommended NBPT application rate.
      • Combining Zn sulfate-coated urea with boron compounds provided ammonia volatility control.
      • The inhibitory effect of urea coated with Zn sulfate alone on ammonia volatilization is influenced by soil properties.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.03.0153
      Published: September 7, 2017



    • Bijesh Maharjan, Richard B. Ferguson and Glen P. Slater
      Irrigated Corn Productivity as Influenced by Nitrogen Source, Rate, and Climatic Conditions

      Nitrogen fertilizer modifications such as coating or chemical additives are designed to either slow or inhibit N transformation, thereby to improve grain yield (GY) and reduce N losses. Effectiveness of these specialized products depend on various factors including climate. This field trial compared effects of various fertilizer modifications in irrigated corn (Zea mays L.) in loamy sand in Nebraska. Urea–ammonia–nitrate (UAN), UAN with 30% methylene–urea (UAN–MU), split-applied UAN-MU (UAN–MU–SP) and polymer-coated urea (PCU) were evaluated in 2009. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Polymer coated N fertilizer was effective in improving crop yields.
      • Chemical inhibitors used in the study was not effective in reducing environmental N losses.
      • Varieties of available different chemical inhibitors may act differently and need to be compared and contrasted.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.04.0209
      Published: August 31, 2017



    • Eric C. Miller, Jacob T. Bushong, William R. Raun, M. Joy M. Abit and D. Brian Arnall
      Predicting Early Season Nitrogen Rates of Corn Using Indicator Crops

      Use of optical reflectance sensors has proven to determine optimum N fertilizer requirements and direct in-season N fertilizer applications. However, corn (Zea mays L.) producer adoption of this technology has been slow due to limited time to determine N deficiencies and apply N fertilizer in-season. A study was established in north-central Oklahoma to investigate the N fertilizer response of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) as indicator crops with N fertilizer applied at sufficient (168 kg N ha–1) and zero N rates and to estimate optimal early season N fertilizer application rates of the subsequent corn crop. In the spring, corn was planted adjacent to the indicator crops and harvested to determine the agronomic optimum N rates at 100 and 95% of optimum yield and response of N fertilizer at harvest (RIHarvest). (continued)


      doi:10.2134/agronj2016.09.0519
      Published: August 23, 2017



    • Rachel Seman-Varner, Jac Varco and Megan O’Rourke
      Nitrogen Benefits of Winter Cover Crop and Fall-Applied Poultry Litter to Corn

      Nitrogen from manures and fertilizers requires careful management to maximize efficiency and minimize losses. Cover crops may conserve nutrients from fall-applied manure and cycle N to corn (Zea mays L.). To quantify N benefits from winter cover crops (CC) and poultry litter (PL), fertilizer nitrogen equivalence (FNEQ) was calculated. Cover crop treatments included Rye (Secale cereale L.), Legume (Trifolium incarnatum L. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Fall-applied poultry litter and legume cover crop equate to more than 100 kg fertilizer N in corn.
      • Without legume cover crop, fall-applied poultry litter failed to result in fertilizer N credit.
      • Fertilizer N equivalence of legume/rye biculture was variable between –12 to a credit of 75 kg N ha–1.
      • Fertilizer N equivalence of legume cover crops and poultry litter increased across the 3-yr study.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2016.11.0670
      Published: August 23, 2017



  • SOIL TILLAGE, CONSERVATION & MANAGEMENT

    • F. M. Liben, S. J. Hassen, B. T. Weyesa, C. S. Wortmann, H. K. Kim, M. S. Kidane, G. G. Yeda and B. Beshir
      Conservation Agriculture for Maize and Bean Production in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

      Conservation agriculture (CA) can be a means to soil improvement and increased crop productivity but had not been evaluated for maize (Zea mays L.)–dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cropping systems in the semiarid Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia (CRV). Therefore, on-farm (2011–2014) and on-station (2010–2014) trials were conducted to compare CA with the current smallholder conventional practice (CP) for productivity of maize–bean cropping systems. Maize monoculture (MMC), bean monoculture (BMC), maize–bean rotation (MBR), and maize–bean intercropping (MBI) were compared with and without tillage on-station. In on-farm research, MMC under CP (CP_MMC) was compared with cropping systems under CA including MMC (CA_MMC), MBR (CA_MBR), and MBI (CA_MBI). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • There may be a synergistic effect between the components of conservation agriculture.
      • Reducing tillage resulted in a yield increase at one location but not another.
      • Production was more by intercropping compared with rotation of maize and bean.

      doi:10.2134/agronj2017.02.0072
      Published: September 7, 2017



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