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Corn Growth and Yield Response to Ethylene Dibromide and Nitrogen

J. T. Touchton, R. Rodriguez-Kabana
Agronomy journal 1985 v.77 no.3 pp. 389-392
Zea mays, ethylene dibromide, nematicides, nitrogen fertilizers
Even in fields where parasitic nematode populations are low, ethylene dibromide (EDB) will often result in improved plant growth and yields. Visual growth responses to EDB are similar to responses obtained from N fertilizer. The purpose of this field study, which was conducted for 2 years on two Coastal Plain soils (Plinthic Paleudults), was to determine if corn [Zea mays (L.)] growth, nutrient uptake, and yield are influenced by EDB and N interactions. Treatments consisted of a factorial arrangement of N (0 to 269 kg/ha) and EDB (0 to 36 kg/ha) rates replicated eight times in a randomized complete block design. Parasitic nematodes were either nonexistent or exceptionally low. Judging from the persistence of ammonium-N in the soil, EDB was an effective nitrification inhibitor for several weeks after application. The effects of EDB and N on plant populations were not consistent among years and soils; the effects, however, were small and probably not of practical significance. Six weeks after emergence, plant weights and heights generally followed typical N response curves. In three of the four tests, EDB resulted in greater plant heights, and in two of the four tests, EDB resulted in higher plant weights (up to 113%). Applied N had typical effects on earleaf-nutrient concentrations, but EDB did not affect leaf-nutrient concentrations. Grain yields also followed typical N response curves. In all tests, EDB resulted in grain yield increases that ranged from 9 to 26%. Although EDB and N had similar effects on plant growth and yield, there were no interactions between EDB and applied N.