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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOP AND IMPROVE STRATEGIES FOR MANAGEMENT OF IRRIGATED AGRICULTURAL CROPS AND SOILS Title: Nitrogen placement, row spacing, and water management for furrow-irrigated field corn

Authors
item Lehrsch, Gary
item Sojka, Robert
item Westermann, Dale - ARS (RETIRED)

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Idaho Nutrient Management Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 22, 2008
Publication Date: March 4, 2008
Citation: Lehrsch, G.A., Sojka, R.E., Westermann, D.T. 2008. Nitrogen placement, row spacing, and water management for furrow-irrigated field corn. In: Moore, A., editor. Proceedings of the 4th Idaho Nutrient Management Conference, March 4, 2008, Jerome, Idaho. p. 42-48.

Interpretive Summary: Banding and sidedressing nitrogen (N) fertilizer on a never-irrigated side of a corn row were hypothesized to maintain yield and decrease nitrate leaching. In a two-year field study on a Portneuf silt loam soil in southern Idaho, we evaluated effects on yield and N uptake of 1) N placement (broadcast pre-plant vs. band at planting), 2) row spacings (30-in vs. an offset 22-in spacing in which every pair of 22-in rows was positioned close to a furrow rather than each row on a bed center), and 3) water management. Our water management, termed irrigated furrow positioning, consisted of every-other furrow irrigation in which we applied water to either a) the same or b) the opposite side of the row with successive irrigations, the latter called alternating furrow irrigation. From each plot at season’s end, we harvested 60 ft of row for silage and a different 60 ft of row for grain. Grain yield was not affected by the positioning of the irrigated furrow. However, averaged across years, grain yield from 22-in rows was 113 bushels per acre from banded plots, 5% greater than from broadcast plots. Two-year average grain yield from 30-in rows was 107 bushels per acre, with no difference between banding and broadcasting. In the second year, N uptake in grain averaged across row spacings was 72.3 lb per acre from banded plots and 65.5 lb per acre from broadcast plots. Silage yield increased up to 26% and N uptake in silage increased up to 21% from banding, compared to broadcasting, where we irrigated the same furrow in the study’s second year. In both years, grain and silage yield and N uptake in grain and silage were similar or greater where urea was banded on one side of a row rather than broadcast.

Technical Abstract: Banding and sidedressing N fertilizer on a never-irrigated side of a row of corn (Zea mays L.) were hypothesized to maintain yield and decrease nitrate leaching. In a two-year field study on Portneuf silt loam (Durinodic Xeric Haplocalcid) in southern Idaho, we evaluated effects on yield and N uptake of 1) urea placement (broadcast pre-plant vs. band at planting), 2) row spacings (30-in vs. an offset 22-in spacing in which every pair of 22-in rows was positioned close to a furrow rather than each row on a bed center), and 3) water management. Our water management, termed irrigated furrow positioning, consisted of every-second furrow irrigation in which we applied water to either a) the same or b) the opposite side of the row with successive irrigations, the latter called alternating furrow irrigation. At season’s end, we harvested 20 ft of row at three locations in each plot for silage and at three other locations for grain. Grain yield was not affected by the positioning of the irrigated furrow. However, averaged across years, grain yield from 22-in rows was 113 bu acre-1 from banded plots, 5% greater (P<0.05) than broadcast plots. Two-year average grain yield from 30-in rows was 107 bu/acre, with no difference between banding and broadcasting. In the second year, N uptake in grain averaged across row spacings was 72.3 lb/acre from banded plots and 65.5 lb/acre from broadcast plots (P<0.01). Silage yield increased up to 26% and N uptake in silage increased up to 21% from banding, compared to broadcasting, where we irrigated the same furrow in the study’s second year. In both years, grain and silage yield and N uptake in grain and silage were similar or greater where urea was banded on one side of a row rather than broadcast.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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