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Silage Corn Response to Urea and Controlled Release Urea in till and No-till

Hunt, D., Bittman, S., Zhang, H. "Silage Corn Response to Urea and Controlled Release Urea in till and No-till." 2017. Manitoba Soil Science Society Conference, 60th Annual, Feb 2-3 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba.


In south coastal BC, nitrogen (N) is usually applied broadcast pre-emergent with additional N side-dressed at 6 to 9 leaf growth stage based on soil pre side-dress nitrogen test. N application does not match corn N demand and is subject to environmental losses. Farmer adoption of zero tillage as a best management practice may increase surface N losses. Additional use of high density plantings makes side-dressing difficult pushing more N application to a single application at planting. Methods are needed to enhance performance of widely used urea fertilizer. This study examined if N required by the corn crop from planting to maturity can be applied as a single dose at planting and if urease and nitrification inhibitors can be used to better match N supply with crop demand. We evaluated a controlled release urea, Nutrisphere N (NN urea), and standard urea for silage corn production under conventional tillage and no-tillage for three years. N was applied either side-banded or broadcast at planting and side-dressed at the 9-leaf stage. Preliminary work showed significant crop damage from banding urea at planting. There was little difference between NN Urea and Urea when surface broadcast or side-dressed. Side-banded NN urea provided higher whole crop and grain yield, N uptake and nitrogen use efficiency. Side-banded NN urea generally performed better under No-till for whole crop and grain yield and crop yield per N applied. Tillage had higher N uptake and higher N uptake per N applied across all N treatments compared to No-till, but the difference was less with side-banded NN urea. These results suggest that the effectiveness of urea-N can be improved by side-banding NN urea.

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