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Initial and residual effects of nitrogen fertilizers on grain yield of a maize bean intercrop grown on a humic nitosol and the fate and efficiency of the applied nitrogen



Initial and residual effects of nitrogen fertilizers on grain yield of a maize bean intercrop grown on a humic nitosol and the fate and efficiency of the applied nitrogen



Fertilizer Research 23(2): 63-72



Initial and residual effects of nitrogen (N) fertilizers on grain yield on a maize/bean intercrop grown on a deep, well-drained Humic Nitosol (66% clay, 3% organic carbon) were evaluated. Enriched (15N) N fertilizer was used to study the fate of applied N in two seasons: using urea (banded) at 50 kg N ha-1 in one season, and 15N-enriched area (banded), calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN, banded), and urea supergranules (USG, point placement) were applied in the other season (different field) at 100 kg N ha-1. Nitrogen fertilizer significantly (P = 0.5) increased equivalent maize grain yield in each season of application with no significant differences between N sources, i.e., urea, CAN, and USG. Profitmaximizing rates ranged from 75 to 97 kg N ha-1 and value: cost ratios ranged from 3.0 to 4.8. Urea gave the highest value: cost ratio in each season. Most (lowest measurement 81%) of the applied N was accounted for by analyzing the soil (to 150 cm depth) and plant material. Measurements for urea, CAN, and USG were not significantly different. The high N measurements suggest low losses of applied N fertilizer under the conditions of the study. Maize plant recovery ranged from 35 to 55%; most of this N (51-65%) was in the grain. Bean plant recovery ranged from 8 to 20%. About 34-43% of the applied N fertilizer remained in the soil, and most of it (about 70%) was within the top soil layer (0-30 cm). However, there were no significant equivalent maize grain increases in seasons following N application indicating no beneficial residual effect of the applied fertilizers.

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Accession: 007467740

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DOI: 10.1007/bf01063332


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