|WARREN, JASON - Oklahoma State University|
|HIGGINS, STEVE - University Of Kentucky|
Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2015
Publication Date: 1/25/2017
Citation: Sistani, K.R., Simmons, J.R., Warren, J.G., Higgins, S. 2017. Nitrogen source and application method impact on corn yield and nutrient uptake. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 40(6):878-889.
Interpretive Summary: About 62% of the 66 million swine (Sus scrofa) population is fed in concentrated operations (5000 head or larger). Intensive swine operations necessitate efficient management practices toward manure storage and utilization. Effective utilization of nutrients in animal manure such as swine effluent as an alternative to chemical fertilizers has become a major interest of farmers and livestock producers as the price of commercial fertilizers has increased in recent years. Improper application of manure can cause many problems including crop injury, soil salinization, and nutrient imbalances in soil. Although most of the animal manure contains high level of N, considerable N losses may occur during storage and after land application. Efficient utilization of manure N requires that the manure be placed below the soil surface through direct injection or incorporation through tillage after application. In fact, a new commercial application technology has recently been developed where liquid manure can be applied in combination with soil aeration called “Aerway” method. This allows the effluent to rapidly move below the soil surface and potentially reduce N losses by decreasing NH3 volatilization compared to surface broadcast applications without incorporation. Therefore, the objective of this study was to quantify and compare the effects of three liquid swine manure application methods (injection, Aerway, and surface broadcast) and a chemical N fertilizer UAN (urea ammonium nitrate) at the rate of 179 kg N ha-1 on corn grain yield, nutrient uptake, and soil chemical composition. Swine effluent application by injection method produced the greatest corn grain yield and significantly greater biomass than other treatments in 2007. However, corn grain yield was not significantly different among the three swine effluent application methods. Results demonstrated that the swine effluent and UAN application methods may not be very important agronomically for corn production in this region, but injecting effluent and N fertilizer may prevent nutrient losses and negative environmental impact when evaluating the impact of N fertilization and liquid manure management.
Technical Abstract: Farmers are looking for better management practices to enhance production and reduce negative environmental impact from nitrogen (N) fertilizer application since N is one of the most important and costly nutrient inputs for crop production. In this field experiment pre-plant swine effluent application methods were evaluated for no-till corn grain production. The treatments included a control, an inorganic fertilizer treatment receiving 179 kg N ha-1 as urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), and three effluent application methods that received a target rate of 200 kg N ha-1. The effluent application methods included: surface broadcast, direct injection, and application in combination with soil aeration “Aeration”. Swine effluent application by injection method produced the greatest corn grain yield (11.88 Mg ha-1) and significantly greater biomass (18,892 kg ha-1) than other treatments in 2007 a relatively dry year. However, corn grain yield was not significantly different among the three swine effluent application methods. Also no significant differences occurred among the UAN application methods in 2007 and 2008. The timing of the UAN application (preplant or sidedress) also did not influence corn grain yield for both years. Swine effluent application by surface broadcast resulted in lowest grain N, P, and K uptake. The limited response to UAN fertilizer and swine effluent application may have been affected by the high level of residual N in soil from previous years. However, results demonstrated that the swine effluent and UAN application methods may not be very important agronomically for corn production in this region, but injecting effluent and N fertilizer may preventing nutrient losses and negative environmental impact when evaluating the impact of N fertilization and liquid manure management.