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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Starter Nitrogen Fertilizer Impact on Soybean Yield and Quality in the Northern Great Plains

Authors
item Osborne, Shannon
item Riedell, Walter

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 5, 2006
Publication Date: October 3, 2006
Citation: Osborne, S.L., Riedell, W.E. 2006. Starter Nitrogen Fertilizer Impact on Soybean Yield and Quality in the Northern Great Plains. Agron. J. 98:1569-1574.

Interpretive Summary: Though there have been numerous investigations into the effect of nitrogen fertilization on soybeans, the unique environment of the northern Great Plains as a factor has been largely overlooked. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of starter nitrogen fertilization on soybean yield and quality for both conventional tillage and no tillage soil management in the northern Great Plains. A field experiment was established within a two-year corn soybean rotation. Treatments consisted of tillage and starter fertilizer (nitrogen source by rate). Nitrogen was applied in a 2 x 2 band at planting as either ammonium nitrate or urea, at four rates (0, 7, 14, and 21 lb N/ac). Grain yields were higher for 2000 compared to 2001 and 2002 due to rainfall timing and total precipitation. Maximum yield among all treatments occurred at the 14 lb/ac ammonium nitrate treatment for all years. A yield reduction in 2000 was noted for the 7 lb/ac ammonium nitrate treatment compared to no N rate. Soybean quality data was similar to grain yield in that the impact of N fertilization was more prevalent in 2000 compared to 2001 and 2002. Oil concentration decreased as soybean N concentration increased due to N fertilization, though there were few significant differences in 2001 and 2002. This research demonstrates that applying N as starter has the potential to increase soybean yield and quality in the unique environment of the northern Great Plains.

Technical Abstract: Though there have been numerous investigations into the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilization on soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merrill], the unique environment of the northern Great Plains as a factor has been largely overlooked. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of starter N fertilization on soybean yield and quality for both conventional tillage (CT) and no tillage (NT) soil management in the northern Great Plains. A field experiment was established within a two-year corn (Zea mays L.) soybean rotation, using a split-plot design with four replications. Whole plots were tillage (NT and CT) with starter fertilizer (N source by rate) as the split plot treatments. Nitrogen was applied in a 2 x 2 band at planting as either ammonium nitrate (AN) or urea (UR), at rates of 0, 8, 16, and 24 kg N ha-1. Grain yields were higher for 2000 compared to 2001 and 2002 due to rainfall timing and total precipitation. Maximum yield among all treatments occurred at the 16 kg N ha-1 AN, NT treatment, for all years. A yield reduction in 2000 was noted for the 8 kg N ha-1 AN rate compared to no N rate. The reduction in yield at the 8 kg N ha-1 treatment and the increase for the 16 kg N ha-1 compared to the no N treatment could possibly be due to a decrease in nodulation in the early growth stages and subsequent decrease in N fixation. Perhaps the higher N treatments provided enough soil N to compensate any delay in nodulation. Soybean quality data was similar to grain yield in that the impact of N fertilization was more prevalent in 2000 compared to 2001 and 2002. Oil concentration decreased as soybean N concentration increased due to N fertilization, though there were few significant differences in 2001 and 2002. This research demonstrates that applying N as starter has the potential to increase soybean yield and quality in the unique environment of the northern Great Plains.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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