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Uptake, Translocation and Utilization of 15N-Depleted Fertilizer in Irrigated Corn

Bigeriego, Manuel, Hauck, R. D., Olson, Robert A.
Soil Science Society of America journal 1979 v.43 no.3 pp. 528-533
Zea mays, corn, developmental stages, fertilizer rates, field experimentation, filling period, irrigation, isotopes, leaves, nitrate nitrogen, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, nutrient requirements, planting date, soil, stover, summer, total nitrogen, Nebraska
The objective of this study was to derive a better understanding of the manner in which N serves the nutritional needs of corn (Zea mays L.) and thereby afford a basis for improved fertilization practices. Measurements of uptake, translocation and utilization of tagged nitrogen (N) fertilizer in irrigated corn as influenced by time and rate of N application were made in a field experiment at the University of Nebraska Field Laboratory. Plant parts of root, crown, foliage, and eventually ear and grain were taken and analyzed for total N, NO₃⁻-N and isotope ratio at eight growth stages. Application of N at planting resulted in greater vegetative production, but summer sidedressed N effected slightly larger grain production with a higher grain/stover ratio. Isotope ratio analyses revealed significantly greater utilization of fertilizer N in grain production with delayed application due to more active root uptake and translocation of the fertilizer source during the grain filling period. Following harvest, residual mineral N in soil from applied fertilizer was greater with summer sidedressing such that 24% more of the N applied could be accounted for in the crop and soil than with planting time application.