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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Plot Size Requirements for Measuring Residual Fertilizer Nitrogen and Nitrogen Uptake by Corn1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 44 No. 2, p. 428-429
    Received: July 16, 1979
    Accepted: Sept 6, 1979

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  1. R. V. Olson2



An experiment was conducted to ascertain the minimum size of unconfined plot that can be used to measure accurately residual fertilizer N and to measure N taken up by corn (Zea mays L.) from broadcast N fertilizer. Large plots were fertilized with 15N-enriched (NH4)2SO4 and plant samples were taken from different places within plots. Samples of grain and stover taken 36 cm from two edges of the plots contained significantly less N derived from fertilizer than plants 107 or 154 to 202 cm from edges.

Accurate values for plant uptake of fertilizer N could be obtained by sampling the center plant of 3-row plots at least 214 cm long and 71 cm apart. Plots should be larger if several plants are to be sampled. It appears larger plots are needed also to determine residual fertilizer N in the soil.

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