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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - SOIL FERTILITY & PLANT NUTRITION

Prediction of Soil Nitrogen Supply in Potato Fields in a Cool Humid Climate


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 2, p. 626-637
    Received: Aug 10, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): bernie.zebarth@agr.gc.ca
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  1. Jacynthe Dessureault-Rompréa,
  2. Bernie J. Zebarth *a,
  3. T. Lien Chowa,
  4. David L. Burtonb,
  5. Mehdi Sharifib,
  6. Alex Georgallasc,
  7. Gregory A. Porterd,
  8. Gilles Moreaue,
  9. Yves Leclercf,
  10. Walter J. Arsenaultg and
  11. Cynthia A. Granth
  1. a Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Centre, PO Box 20280, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 4Z7
    b Dep. of Environmental Science, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, PO Box 550, 21 Cox Rd., Truro, NS, Canada B2N 5E3
    c Dep. of Engineering, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, PO Box 550, 21 Cox Rd., Truro, NS, Canada B2N 5E3
    d Dep. of Plant, Soil and Environmental Science, Univ. of Maine, 114 Deering Hall, Orono, ME 04469
    e McCain Foods (Canada), P.O. Box 11400, Trans Canada Hwy., Grand Falls, NB, Canada E3Z 3E3
    f McCain Foods (Canada), 107 Main St., Florenceville, NB, Canada E7L 1B2;
    g Crops and Livestock Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 440 University Ave., Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4N6
    h Brandon Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Grand Valley Rd., Brandon, MB, Canada R7A 5Y3


This study evaluated different strategies for use of a simple first-order kinetic model (Nmin = N0 [1-e k t] where N0 is potentially mineralizable N and k is the mineralization rate constant) to predict growing season soil N supply (SNS) in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) fields under cool humid climatic conditions. Direct application of the kinetic model for the 0- to 15-cm depth significantly underestimated a field-based measure of plant available soil N supply (PASNS). Modeling strategies that considered the soil mineral N (SMN) present at the start of the growing season, or included a pool of labile mineralizable N (Pool I) not normally considered in determination of N0 , performed better, but still underestimated high values of PASNS. Strategies which included a greater soil depth (0–30 cm), or which assumed that the mineralizable N pool was replenished during the growing season, overestimated PASNS. A strategy which used a higher value of k for Pool I gave the most promising results. Results of this study highlight the importance of considering both SMN and labile mineralizable N pools in predicting SNS, and suggest that it is possible to estimate growing season SNS in humid regions using simple kinetic models.

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