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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 247835, 10 pages
Research Article

Effect of Irrigation and Preplant Nitrogen Fertilizer Source on Maize in the Southern Great Plains

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 368 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA

Received 16 June 2014; Revised 26 November 2014; Accepted 26 November 2014; Published 17 December 2014

Academic Editor: Othmane Merah

Copyright © 2014 Jacob T. Bushong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the demand for maize increasing, production has spread into more water limited, semiarid regions. Couple this with the increasing nitrogen (N) fertilizer costs and environmental concerns and the need for proper management practices has increased. A trial was established to evaluate the effects of different preplant N fertilizer sources on maize cultivated under deficit irrigation or rain-fed conditions on grain yield, N use efficiency (NUE), and water use efficiency (WUE). Two fertilizer sources, ammonium sulfate (AS) and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), applied at two rates, 90 and 180 kg N ha−1, were evaluated across four site-years. Deficit irrigation improved grain yield, WUE, and NUE compared to rain-fed conditions. The preplant application of a pure ammoniacal source of N fertilizer, such as AS, had a tendency to increase grain yields and NUE for rain-fed treatments. Under irrigated conditions, the use of UAN as a preplant N fertilizer source performed just as well or better at improving grain yield compared to AS, as long as the potential N loss mechanisms were minimized. Producers applying N preplant as a single application should adjust rates based on a reasonable yield goal and production practice.