Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The Effect of Added Nitrogen on First and Second Year Corn After Alfalfa

Class

Article

College

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Grant Cardon

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Corn following alfalfa is a common crop rotation in the in Utah and southern Idaho. This is, in part, due to nitrogen fixing bacteria that work in symbiosis with the roots of alfalfa. After alfalfa is killed, much of the nitrogen that was fixed in its roots is released into the soil and becomes available for plant use. This should lower the amount of nitrogen that growers need to apply to the following crops. The Utah Fertilizer Guide, published in 2010, credits a crop following alfalfa 112 kg of nitrogen per hectare. I hypothesize that this credit could be higher. Therefore, on-farm experiments were conducted to test whether different nitrogen application rates affected corn silage yield in first and second year corn following alfalfa. 4 different rates of nitrogen were applied (0, 56, 112, and 224 kg of nitrogen per hectare), and each rate had 4 replications. The data from 27 site-years of first year corn was collected and pooled, and it showed little statistical difference between the application rates. There were 9 site-years of second year corn, and it showed similar statistical difference to first year corn. I submit that a better understanding of how this newly-available nitrogen affects first and second year corn will improve nitrogen recommendations, protect water from nitrate pollution, reduce farm costs, and improve best management practices.

Location

The North Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

4-12-2018 11:45 AM

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Apr 12th, 10:30 AM Apr 12th, 11:45 AM

The Effect of Added Nitrogen on First and Second Year Corn After Alfalfa

The North Atrium

Corn following alfalfa is a common crop rotation in the in Utah and southern Idaho. This is, in part, due to nitrogen fixing bacteria that work in symbiosis with the roots of alfalfa. After alfalfa is killed, much of the nitrogen that was fixed in its roots is released into the soil and becomes available for plant use. This should lower the amount of nitrogen that growers need to apply to the following crops. The Utah Fertilizer Guide, published in 2010, credits a crop following alfalfa 112 kg of nitrogen per hectare. I hypothesize that this credit could be higher. Therefore, on-farm experiments were conducted to test whether different nitrogen application rates affected corn silage yield in first and second year corn following alfalfa. 4 different rates of nitrogen were applied (0, 56, 112, and 224 kg of nitrogen per hectare), and each rate had 4 replications. The data from 27 site-years of first year corn was collected and pooled, and it showed little statistical difference between the application rates. There were 9 site-years of second year corn, and it showed similar statistical difference to first year corn. I submit that a better understanding of how this newly-available nitrogen affects first and second year corn will improve nitrogen recommendations, protect water from nitrate pollution, reduce farm costs, and improve best management practices.