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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Kimberly, Idaho » Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #250753

Title: Clinoptilolite zeolite influence on inorganic nitrogen in silt loam and sandy agricultural soils

item Tarkalson, David
item Ippolito, James

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Idaho Nutrient Management Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2010
Publication Date: 3/9/2010
Citation: Tarkalson, D.D., Ippolito, J.A. 2010. Clinoptilolite Zeolite Influence on Inorganic Nitrogen in Silt Loam and Sandy Agricultural Soils. Proceedings of the Idaho Nutrient Management Conference. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Development of best management practices can help improve inorganic nitrogen (N) availability to plants and reduce nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) leaching in soils. This study was conducted to determine the influence of the zeolite mineral Clinoptilolite (CL) additions on NO3-N and ammonium-nitrogen (NH4-N) in two common Pacific Northwest soils. The effects of CL application rate (at least 12 tons/acre) either band applied or mixed with a set rate of nitrogen (N) fertilizer on masses of NO3-N and NH4-N in leachate and soil was investigated in a column study using a Portneuf silt loam (coarse-silty mixed mesic Durixerollic Caliciorthid) and a Wolverine sand (Mixed, frigid Xeric Torripsamment). All treatments for each soil received a uniform application of N from urea fertilizer, with fertilizer banded or mixed with CL. In the Portneuf soil, band application of CL and N contained 109% more total inorganic N (NO3-N + NH4-N) in the soil/leachate system compared to mixing. In both soils, CL application rate influenced the quantity of NO3-N and NH4-N in the leachate and soil. Application of CL at rates of 3 to 6 tons/acre resulted in the conservation of inorganic N in the soils. Band applying CL and N appears to conserve available inorganic N in the soil compared to mixing CL and N possibly due to decreased rates of microbial immobilization, nitrification and denitrification.