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Effects of Water and Nitrogen Management on Yield and 15N-Depleted Fertilizer Use Efficiency of Irrigated Corn

Russelle, M. P., Deibert, E. J., Hauck, R. D., Stevanovic, M., Olson, R. A.
Soil Science Society of America journal 1981 v.45 no.3 pp. 553-558
Zea mays, ammonium sulfate, corn, developmental stages, dry matter accumulation, fertilizer rates, fine-textured soils, grain yield, irrigation scheduling, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, planting, soil texture, Nebraska
The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of irrigation sequence and of time and rate of nitrogen application on the dry matter production and fertilizer use efficiency of irrigated corn (Zea mays L.), grown on a representative fine-textured soil of eastern Nebraska, and to monitor the movement of fertilizer N in this soil. During 1974–1976, ¹⁵N-depleted ammonium sulfate was banded at rates of 112, 168, or 224 kg N/ha at planting or sidedressed at the eight-leaf growth stage. No N was applied in 1977–1979. In 1974–1977, irrigation applications of 5, 7.5, or 10 cm of water were made at 2-, 3-, or 4-week intervals, respectively, until a total of 30 cm had been applied. The plots were uniformly irrigated in 1978–1979. Grain yield and N uptake in 1974–1976 were not influenced by time of N application, and were highest with light, frequent irrigation. From 1977–1978, yield increased with previous N rate in response to residual mineral N in the soil. During both treatment and residual years, fertilizer N recovery in the grain was greater with sidedressing and increased with N rate. Heavier, infrequent irrigation decreased tracer N recovery in 1974–1976. Maximum fertilizer use efficiency was obtained with the low N rate, applied as a sidedressing, and with light, frequent irrigation.