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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320990

Research Project: Management Practices to Mitigate Global Climate Change, Enhance Bioenergy Production, Increase Soil-C Stocks, and Sustain Soil Productivity and Water Quality

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: Manure and inorganic N affect irrigated corn yields and soil properties

Author
item Halvorson, Ardell - Retired ARS Employee
item Stewart, Catherine
item Del Grosso, Stephen - Steve

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2015
Publication Date: 11/3/2016
Citation: Halvorson, A., Stewart, C.E., Del Grosso, S.J. 2016. Manure and inorganic N affect irrigated corn yields and soil properties. Agronomy Journal. 108:519-531. doi:10.2134/agronj2015.0402.

Interpretive Summary: Manure could be a substitute for inorganic N fertilizers and for mitigating potential soil deterioration under irrigated corn (Zea mays L.) silage production, but the impact on yields, soil C and N have not been thoroughly studied in the semi-arid western U.S. Silage, grain and stover yields and N uptake were greater with N application than check, with no difference between dairy manure (DM), DM+AgrotainPlus (DM+AP), urea, and SuperU (SU). SOC and TSN were strongly related to root and DM inputs, increasing with DM application but decreasing or remaining constant for the SU, urea, and check treatments. DM is a valuable source of C, N and P for irrigated tilled corn silage production with minimal NO3-N leaching or excessive soil P after 3 yr. Rotating DM and inorganic N sources could help increase SOC and STP under silage production.

Technical Abstract: Manure could be a substitute for inorganic N fertilizers and for mitigating potential soil deterioration under irrigated corn (Zea mays L.) silage production, but the impact on yields, soil C and N have not been thoroughly studied in the semi-arid western U.S. Five N source treatments [dairy manure (DM, 412 kg N ha-1), DM+AgrotainPlus (DM+AP), SuperU (SU, 179 kg N ha-1], urea (179 kg N ha-1), and check (no N applied)] were studied (3 yr) to determine their effects on silage and grain yields, N uptake, and changes in soil properties [soil organic C (SOC), total soil N (TSN), NO3-N, and soil test P (STP)] in an irrigated, tilled clay loam soil under continuous corn silage production. Silage, grain and stover yields and N uptake were greater with N application than check, with no difference between DM, DM+AP, urea, and SU. Fall soil NO3-N was greater with N application than for check (0-90 cm depth), but lower with DM than for SU (0-180 cm depth). Soil test P was 7 times greater with DM than with inorganic P after 3 yr. SOC and TSN were strongly related to root and DM inputs, increasing with DM application but decreasing or remaining constant for the SU, urea, and check treatments. DM is a valuable source of C, N and P for irrigated tilled corn silage production with minimal NO3-N leaching or excessive soil P after 3 yr. Rotating DM and inorganic N sources could help increase SOC and STP under silage production.