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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING ALFALFA AND OTHER FORAGE CROPS FOR BIOENERGY, LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Predicting fertilizer nitrogen response in corn following alfalfa

Authors
item Yost, Matt -
item RUSSELLE, MICHAEL
item Coulter, Jeffrey -

Submitted to: North Central Extension Industry Soil Fertility Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 11, 2012
Publication Date: November 14, 2012
Citation: Yost, M.A., Russelle, M.P., Coulter, J.A. 2012. Predicting fertilizer nitrogen response in corn following alfalfa. In: Proceedings of the North Central Extension Industry Soil Fertility Conference, November 14-15, 2012, Des Moines, Iowa. 28:167.

Technical Abstract: Correct prediction and application of alfalfa nitrogen (N) credits to first-year corn can reduce fertilizer N costs for growers, reduce over-application of N, and reduce the potential for water contamination. For decades, researchers have found that first-year corn following alfalfa often requires no fertilizer N to maximize grain yield. However, a review and analysis of nearly all the research on this topic in North America and Spain (442 site-years of research) indicates that corn following alfalfa can respond to N fertilizer around 30% of the time. This body of research covers a wider range of weather, soil, and crop management conditions than any single study and may contain clues for predicting fertilizer N requirements that have been missed by others. After developing this database, we analyzed the data using statistical meta-analysis techniques to determine factors (soil type, tillage, alfalfa stand age and density, precipitation, etc.) that relate to fertilizer N response of first-year corn following alfalfa. We then validated these predictors using our independent set of data from 35 recent site-years of on-farm research conducted in Minnesota and Wisconsin from 2009 to 2011. Findings from this meta-analysis will be presented.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014