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Nitrogen Placement Evaluation for Winter Wheat in Three Fallow Tillage Systems

Varvel, G. E., Havlin, J. L., Peterson, T. A.
Soil Science Society of America journal 1989 v.53 no.1 pp. 288
Triticum aestivum, winter wheat, nitrogen fertilizers, soil organic matter, soil injection, nitrogen, no-tillage, stubble mulching, fallow, plowing, crop yield, dry matter accumulation, Nebraska
Increased soil water storage with increasing amounts of surface residue in winter wheat (. L.)—fallow cropping systems has not consistently resulted in higher grain yields in the Great Plains. Earlier results had suggested increased amounts of surface residue may increase N immobilization and limit N availability, thereby reducing potential for use of the additional stored soil water. This study was conducted to determine if N placement below the zone of organic matter or surface residue accumulation would reduce N immobilization and increase yields. The effects of N placement were evaluated by surface broadcasting and injecting below the soil surface N depleted NHNO at 45 kg ha in no-till, stubble mulch, and plow fallow method systems on an Alliance silt loam (fine-silty, mixed mesic Aridic Argiustolls) in a long-term study in western Nebraska. Dry matter and grain yield, N concentration, N uptake, N concentration, N uptake, and fertilizer recovery in plant tissue were determined for fallow method and N placement during the 1985, 1986, and 1987 growing seasons. Dry matter and grain yield, N concentration, N uptake, N uptake, and fertilizer recovery were all significantly affected by fallow method during all 3 yr of the study, being highest in plow and lowest in no-till with stubble mulch values intermediate. Nitrogen placement, however, had no effect on any of the variables in any of the tillage systems. In this environment, N immobilization does not appear to be a factor limiting use of additional stored soil water in reduced tillage systems because fertilizer recovery was equal for both placement methods in all three tillage systems.