Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate

Committee Chair(s)

D. W. James


D. W. James


R. L. Smith


H. B. Peterson


In the Zapotitan Valley near San Andres, El Salvador, Central America, an experiment was conducted to determine the availability of residual soil N to corn grown during the rainy season. This was an extension of an experiment conducted during the preceding dry season. The variables of the dry season experiment were irrigation method, crop, and rate of fertilizer N application. Soil N03-N and NH4-N were determined by soil sample analysis to a soil depth of 120 em by 30 em depth increments. The samples were taken at the end of the dry season experiment and again at harvest time of the wet season experiment. Yield of corn grown during the rainy season was measured. The results indicate the following: (1) soil N03-N alone was an efficient indicator of residual soil N; (2) there was a linear increase of soil N03-N with N applied four months previously at the beginning of the dry season crops; (3) soil sampled to the 30 cm depth was sufficient to estimate availability of the residual N; (4) corn yields increased linearly with the increase of soil N03-N; (5) the measurement of residual soil N03-N can be used as a soil text index in connection with N prediction equations for estimating fertilizer N requirements. The measurements of soil N03-N can, therefore, increase the efficiency of fertilizer use in a wet-dry tropical climate.



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