The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2001 / Article
Special Issue

Optimizing Nitrogen Management in Food and Energy Production and Environmental Protection: 2nd International Nitrogen Conference 2001

View this Special Issue

Research Article | Open Access

Volume 1 |Article ID 859675 | 9 pages |

Increasing Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Corn in Midwestern Cropping Systems

Academic Editor: Joe Wisniewski


Nitrogen (N) loss from agricultural systems raises concerns about the potential impact of farming practices on environmental quality. N is a critical input to agricultural production. However, there is little understanding of the interactions among crop water use, N application rates, and soil types. This study was designed to quantify these interactions in corn (Zea mays L.) grown in production-size fields in central Iowa on the Clarion-Nicollet-Webster soil association. Seasonal water use varied by soil type and N application rate. Yield varied with N application rate, with the highest average yield obtained at 100 kg ha-1. N use efficiency (NUE) decreased with increasing N application rates, having values around 50%. Water use efficiency (WUE) decreased as N fertilizer rates increased. Analysis of plant growth patterns showed that in the low organic matter soils (lower water-holding capacities), potential yield was not achieved because of water deficits during the grain-filling period. Using precipitation data coupled with daily water use throughout the season, lower organic matter soils showed these soils began to drain earlier in the spring and continued to drain more water throughout the season. The low NUE in these soils together with increased drainage lead to greater N loss from these soils. Improved management decisions have shown that it is possible to couple water use patterns with N application to increase both WUE and NUE.

More related articles

76 Views | 450 Downloads | 2 Citations
 PDF  Download Citation  Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly and safely as possible. Any author submitting a COVID-19 paper should notify us at to ensure their research is fast-tracked and made available on a preprint server as soon as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted articles related to COVID-19. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.