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Nitrification of anhydrous ammonia related to nitrapyrin and time temperature interactions



Nitrification of anhydrous ammonia related to nitrapyrin and time temperature interactions



Agronomy Journal 76(1): 9-12



The effects of time and temperature, with and without nitrification inhibitor, were evaluated on the rate of nitrification for field-applied anhydrous ammonia on a Webster clay loam soil (fine loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Haplaquoll) in central Iowa [USA]. Factors influencing the production of oxidized N, forms of N more easily lost from the soil by leaching or denitrification, were documented. Anhydrous ammonia at 180 kg N/ha was applied at 3 application dates in the fall of 1979 (9 Oct., 27 Oct. and 14 Nov.) and 3 application dates in the spring of 1980 (15 April, 2 May and 25 June). Plots with and without 0.56 kg/ha nitrapyrin were established on each date. Ammonium was concentrated within a 5-cm radius of the injection zone. The accumulation of heat units (HU), calculated by the summation of temperature (.degree. C) multiplied by time (days), had a negative correlation with recoverable NH4-N and followed the equation: %NH4-N = -0.07 HU + 76.4, R2 = 0.84*, significant at the 0.05 level. Much of the variability of recovered NH4-N could be explained by a time by temperature interaction. A grower's decision to apply anhydrous ammonia in the fall when soil temperatures reach a given level, commonly 10.degree. C, should apparently be tempered by the date. In early fall, more time is available for nitrification to occur before freezing of the soil, and a greater conversion of NH4-N to NO3-N would be expected. In the presence of a nitrification inhibitor, higher percentages of NH4-N were recovered for a similar HU accumulation. Regression equations predicted an 84% recovery with 233 accumulated HU in the presence of nitrapyrin, compared with a 60% recovery without nitrapyrin. For an equal percentage of NH4-N recovery the following spring, a grower could apply anhydrous ammonia earlier in the fall if nitrapyrin was used. According to the equations developed in this study for the 1979-1980 season, a 9 Oct. application of anhydrous ammonia with nitrapyrin would have resulted in .apprx. 70% NH4-N recovery in the spring of 1980, compared with the same recovery for a 23 Nov. application without nitrapyrin.

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Accession: 005985202

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DOI: 10.2134/agronj1984.00021962007600010003x


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