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Grain corn and soil nitrogen responses to sidedress nitrogen sources and applications

Gagnon, B., Ziadi, N. (2010). Grain corn and soil nitrogen responses to sidedress nitrogen sources and applications, 102(3), 1014-1022.


The efficiency of synthetic N fertilization can be improved by selecting the fertilizer source and application that best matches the soil N supply and crop demand. A field experiment was conducted for 3 yr (2004-2006) on a clay soil near Québec City, QC, Canada, to evaluate the effects of N fertilizer source and application on corn (Zea mays L.) yield, plant N accumulation, and residual soil inorganic N. Treatments consisted of an unfertilized control (0 N) and three sources of N fertilizer (urea ammonium nitrate 32% [UAN], calcium ammonium nitrate [CAN], and aqua ammonia [AA]) applied at three different concentrations (100, 150, and 200 kg N ha-1). Nitrogen fertilizers were banded 5 cm below the soil surface between corn rows at the six-leaf stage every year. Fertilizer source affected grain corn with the highest mean yields (8.9 Mg ha-1) and total plant N accumulation achieved with UAN at any application. For all fertilizer sources, the linear-plus-plateau model best described the corn response to N application with optimum rate at 100, 124, and 128 kg N ha-1 for UAN, CAN, and AA, respectively. At harvest each year, the concentration of residual soil inorganic N increased in the upper layer. Under the cool and humid climatic prevailing conditions, UAN was the most efficient synthetic N fertilizer when banded into the soil at sidedress. © 2010 by the American Society of Agronomy.

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