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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: LANDSCAPE-BASED CROP MANAGEMENT FOR FOOD, FEED, AND BIOENERGY

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Corn response to nitrogen is influenced by soil texture and weather

Authors
item Tremblay, Nicolas -
item Bouroubi, Yacine -
item Belec, Carl -
item Mullen, Robert -
item Kitchen, Newell
item Thomason, Wade -
item Ebelhar, Steve -
item Mengel, David -
item Raun, William -
item Francis, Dennis
item Vories, Earl
item Ortiz-Monasterio, Ivan -

Submitted to: Northeastern and Southern Corn Improvement Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 14, 2013
Publication Date: February 13, 2013
Citation: Tremblay, N., Bouroubi, M.Y., Belec, C., Mullen, R.L., Kitchen, N.R., Thomason, W.E., Ebelhar, S.A., Mengel, D.B., Raun, W.R., Francis, D.D., Vories, E.D., Ortiz-Monasterio 2013. Corn response to nitrogen is influenced by soil texture and weather. Proceedings of the 67th Northeastern and Southern Corn Improvement Proceedings, February 14-15. 2013, Ottawa, Ontario. NEC-29: 40.

Technical Abstract: Soil properties and weather conditions are known to affect soil nitrogen (N) availability and plant N uptake. However, studies examining N response as affected by soil and weather sometimes give conflicting results. Meta-analysis is a statistical method for estimating treatment effects in a series of experiments to explain the sources of heterogeneity. In this study, the technique was used to examine the influence of soil and weather parameters on N responses of corn (Zea mays L.) across 51 studies involving the same N rate treatments which were carried out in a diversity of North American locations between 2006 and 2009. Results showed that corn response to added N was significantly greater in fine-textured soils than in medium-textured soils. Abundant and well-distributed rainfall and, to a lesser extent, accumulated corn heat units enhanced N response. Corn yields increased by a factor of 1.6 (over the unfertilized control)in medium-textured soils and 2.7 in fine- textured soils at high N rates. Subgroup analyses were performed on the fine- textured soil class based on weather parameters. Rainfall patterns had an important effect on N response in this soil texture class, with yields being increased 4.5-fold by in-season N fertilization under conditions of “abundant and well-distributed rainfall.” These findings could be useful for developing N fertilization algorithms that would allow for N application at optimal rates taking into account rainfall pattern and soil texture, which would lead to improved crop profitability and reduced environmental impacts.

Last Modified: 12/26/2014
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