Nitrogen Placement, Row Spacing, and Furrow Irrigation Water Positioning Effects on Corn Yield
- Gary A. Lehrsch *,
- R. E. Sojka and
- D. T. Westermann
Furrow irrigation often leaches NO3–N. We hypothesized that banding and sidedressing N fertilizer on a nonirrigated side of a corn (Zea mays L.) row would maintain yield and decrease NO3–N leaching. In a 2-yr field study in southern Idaho on a Portneuf silt loam (coarse silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Durinodic Xeric Haplocalcid), we evaluated the effects of (i) N placement (broadcast vs. banded), (ii) row spacing (0.76 m vs. a modified 0.56 m), and (iii) irrigation water positioning (applying water to the same side or alternating sides of a row with successive irrigations) on field corn yield and N uptake. We irrigated every second furrow nine times in 1988 and seven times in 1989. Compared with broadcasting, banding maintained grain yield in 1988 and increased it by 11% in 1989. Where N was banded in 0.56-m rows in 1989, silage yield when only the nonfertilized furrow was irrigated was 22.9 Mg ha−1, which was 22% greater than when alternating furrows were irrigated. Compared with 0.56-m rows, the 0.76-m rows had no effect on 2-yr average grain yield but tended to increase 2-yr average silage N. Banding N on one side of a row, rather than broadcasting, and applying water all season to the furrow on the other side of the row maintained or increased grain yield, increased silage yield by up to 26%, and increased N uptake in silage by up to 21%, particularly from N-depleted profiles. Applying water to the same furrow, rather than alternating furrows, did not reduce yield or N uptake.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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