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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Residual Nitrate-N in Fine Sand as Influenced By N Fertilizer and Water Management Practices1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 6, p. 923-926
    Received: Jan 30, 1978
    Accepted: Aug 7, 1978

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  1. D. E. Smika and
  2. D. G. Watts2



A better understanding of the severity of NO3-N movement out of the crop root zone in irrigated sandy soils is needed. The objective of this study was to determine residual NO3-N after the corn (Zea mays L.) growing season from N applied at rates of (i) 112, (ii) 224, and (iii) 336 kg/ha in 1974 and (iv) 168, (v) 250, and (vi) 324 kg/ha in 1975. Nitrogen was applied as a single broadcast (B) application at the beginning of the corn growing season or injected (S) through the irrigation system at five equal increments before tasseling. Water application for both N application methods was attempted to be 0.8 W2 water application treatment, residual NO3-N averaged 0.22 kg/during all but the first 6 weeks of corn growth.

When N was broadcast-applied at seeding very little residual NO3-N remained in the 150-cm sampling depth after the crop growing season, regardless of N application rate or water application amount. When the N was applied through the irrigation system (injected N), only the W3 water application treatment resulted in leaching all NO3-N below the crop root zone. With injected N and W2 water application treatment, residual NO3-N averaged 0.22 kg/ha for each kg/ha of N applied. With injected N and W1 application treatment NO3-N increased linearly at 0.43 kg/ha for each kg/ha of applied N above the B4 rate. At lower N application rates, residual NO3-N was very low because this amount of N nearly equalled plant uptake. No overwinter NO3-N was lost with the injected N treatments. These results showed that the injected N application method with proper water application management can greatly reduce the potential for NO3-N movement below the corn crop rooting zone on fine sand soils.

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