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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

The Effects of Urea, Biuret, and Ammonia on Germination and Early Growth of Corn (Zea mays L.)1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 1, p. 77-81
    Received: Apr 30, 1965
    Accepted: Sept 20, 1965

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  1. Albert S. Hunter and
  2. William A. Rosenau2



Corn seeds were germinated near bands of fertilizer containing urea, biuret, cyanuric acid, ammonium, and certain other materials in sand-solution cultures varying in urea and biuret, in closed systems containing gaseous NH3, and in soils with varying amounts of exchangeable NH4. Seeds were also soaked, before germination, in solutions of urea, biuret, (NH4)2SO4, or NH4OH. Germination was greatly inhibited by gaseous NH3 in closed systems, by more than 32% NH4-saturation of the soil, and by soaking seeds in NH4OH; seeds that did germinate produced normal plants. In the field, germination was not affected but seedlings were injured by 1.5 lb or more of biuret-N per acre (38-inch rows); up to 1.5 lb cyanuric acid per acre had no harmful effects. Seed injury by NH3 released from urea is dependent upon hydrolytic activity, soil aeration, rate of nitrification, exchange capacity, and volume of soil between fertilizer and seed. Germination is affected by NH3; biuret principally affects seedling development after germination.

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