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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #408531

Research Project: Conservation Systems to Improve Production Efficiency, Reduce Risk, and Promote Sustainability

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Evaluation of cotton yield response to nitrogen fertilizer application across the US Cotton Belt

item FARMAHA, BHUPINDER - Clemson University
item MORGAN, GAYLON - Cotton, Inc
item Franzluebbers, Alan
item ARNALL, BRIAN - Oklahoma State University
item Balkcom, Kipling
item RUIZ DIAZ, DORIVAR - Kansas State University
item FRAME, WILLIAM - Virginia Tech
item HOWE, JULIE - Texas A&M University
item MCKNIGHT, BENJAMIN - Texas A&M University
item LEWIS, KATIE - Texas Tech University
item MAEDA, MURILO - Texas Agrilife Extension
item PIERALISI, BRIAN - Mississippi State University
item RAPER, TYSON - University Of Tennessee
item ROBERTS, TRENTON - University Of Arkansas
item SINTIM, HENRY - University Of Georgia
item SNIDER, JOHN - University Of Georgia
item WILSON, BRADLEY - University Of Missouri

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2022
Publication Date: 11/10/2022
Citation: Farmaha, B.S., Morgan, G.D., Franzluebbers, A.J., Arnall, B.D., Balkcom, K.S., Ruiz Diaz, D.A., Frame, W.H., Howe, J.A., Mcknight, B., Lewis, K.L., Maeda, M.M., Pieralisi, B., Raper, T.B., Roberts, T.L., Sintim, H., Snider, J., Wilson, B.R. 2022. Evaluation of cotton yield response to nitrogen fertilizer application across the US Cotton Belt [ABSTRACT]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Baltimore, MD. Nov. 6-9, 2022.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Developing nitrogen (N) management best practices is a moving target and requires continuous and coordinated efforts. However, many research trials focus solely on cotton yield and quality and do not account for the variations in soil type, environmental conditions, cropping systems (tillage, rotation, tillage, cover crop, etc.), irrigation, or pre-plant residual nitrates. As a result of focusing solely on the N rate, the vast majority provide confounding results and have not identified the optimum rate that should be applied on a given farm with a specific soil type and cropping system. A multi-state project was started in 2020 to improve our understanding of soil biophysical properties in predicting cotton yield and quality response to N application rate. Nitrogen rate response trials were established in LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VT in randomized complete block design with five N rates and four replications. Rates and sites were selected based on the local conditions and history of previous positive cotton yield responses to N applications. At 10 sites out of 22, lint yield responded non-significantly to N applications. These sites had a considerable variation in lint yield, with mean site yield varying from 445 to 1451 lbs/ac. At the other 12 sites, quadratic, curvilinear, or linear plus plateau response of lint yield to N applications was observed, and the profit-maximizing N rate at these sites varied from 31 to 136 lbs N/ac. The N factor (lbs N per lb lint) varied from 0.03 to 0.20 between sites. The results from this study warrant that we should include information from soil biophysical properties in making N recommendations so do determine where to apply N and how much to apply. The revised N guidelines will help us to increase farm profits and the environmental sustainability of cotton production.