Submitted to: Potato Progress
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2001
Publication Date: November 1, 2001
Citation: ALVA, A.K., COLLINS, H.P., BOYDSTON, R.A. DECOMPOSITION OF POTATO, CORN, AND WHEAT CROP RESIDUES. POTATO PROGRESS, Vol. 1:1-2. 2001. Technical Abstract: The decomposition of crop residue, after harvesting the crop product of economical importance, and transformation of organic nitrogen (N) into ammonium (NH4) and nitrate (NO3) forms (N mineralization) provide sources of plant available N. The purpose of this study was to estimate the contribution of N from mineralization of crop residues following the harvest of either corn, wheat, or potato in a typical potato production region in the PNW. The dry weight of the crop residue in January soil samples, taken at the top 12 inch depth was 3.7 ton/acre for potato, 9.0 ton/acre for wheat, and 11.8 ton/acre for corn. By March, these quantities were decreased to 2.1, 3.4, and 5.7 ton/acre, respectively. Total N content in the crop residue was used as an estimate of total N that is available for mineralization at each sampling time. The total residue N in the top 12 inch depth soil was 355, 338, and 108 lbs/acre for the corn, wheat, and potato crop residues, respectively, but decreased to 169, 102, and 61 lbs/acre, respectively, in March samples. The cumulative N mineralized from the three crop residues in the top 12 inch depth soil during January through September ranged from 64 to 153 lbs/acre.