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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - GROUND WATER QUALITY

Bermudagrass Fertilized with Slow-Release Nitrogen Sources. I. Nitrogen Uptake and Potential Leaching Losses


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 2, p. 440-448
    Received: Nov 30, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): hmquiroga@yahoo.com
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  1. Héctor Mario Quiroga-Garza *a,
  2. Geno A. Picchionib and
  3. Marta D. Remmengac
  1. a Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP), Apartado Postal 247, Torreón, Coahuila 27000, México
    b Dep. of Agronomy and Horticulture, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003
    c Dep. of Economics and International Business, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003


With the objectives of analyzing N recovery and potential N losses in the warm-season hybrid bermudagrass `Tifgreen' [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy], two greenhouse studies were conducted. Plugs were planted in PVC cylinders filled with a modified sandy growing medium. Urea (URE), sulfur-coated urea (SCU), and Hydroform (HYD) (Hydro Agri San Francisco, Redwood City, CA) were broadcast at rates of 100 and 200 kg N ha−1 every 20 and 40 d. The grass was clipped three times every 10 d and analyzed for N concentration and N yield. In addition, leachates were analyzed for NO3–N. Use of the least soluble source, HYD, resulted in the lowest average clipping N concentration and N yield, as compared with SCU and URE. Clipping N concentration and N yield showed a cyclic pattern through time, particularly under long-day (>12 h) conditions. When the photoperiod decreased below 12 h, leachate NO3–N concentration exceeded the standard limit for drinking water (10 mg L−1) by 10 to 19 times with the high SCU and URE application rate and frequency. However, leaching N losses represented a minimal fraction (<1%) of the total applied N. More applied N was recovered in plant tissues using SCU and URE (89.5%) than using HYD (64.1%), with more than 52% of applied N accumulating in clippings. Highly insoluble N sources such as HYD decrease N leaching losses but may limit bermudagrass growth and quality. Risks of NO3–N losses in bermudagrass can be avoided by proper fertilization and irrigation programs, even when a highly soluble N source is used.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:440–448.