THE IMPACT OF THE POLYMER COATING NUTRISPHERE™ IN INCREASING NITROGEN USE EFFICIENCY AND CORN YIELD
Ronnie W. Heiniger, Timothy A. Smith and Pawel Wiatrak
DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2014.44.54
American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Volume 9, Issue 1
Currently, it is estimated that 50 to 60% of the N applied fertilizer is actually utilized by the crop with the remaining N lost through leaching or denitrification. A three year study was conducted at eight locations in North Carolina to examine the impact of Nutrisphere™ on corn yield, optimum N rate, maximum yield, tissue N concentration, plant biomass and N uptake. At six locations the study consisted of a split plot design where main plots were either 30% Urea Ammonium Nitrate (UAN) or 30% UAN plus Nutrisphere™ applied either at planting or layby with subplots consisting of five N rates that differed slightly across years. At two locations, two N solutions were applied at two rates to plots that received one of two starter fertilizer treatments. The overall trend indicated that Nutrisphere™ increased yield compared to the use of 30% UAN alone with a significant (p<0.10) yield increases of 0.74 Mg ha-1 from combined results at Bertie08 and Pamlico08, 0.93 Mg ha-1 from combined results at Guilford08 and Forsythe08 and 0.37 Mg ha-1 from the treatment with at planting application of N at Beaufort09 and Pamlico09. While Nutrisphere™ only reduced optimum N rate in two trials, there was a consistent increase in maximum potential yield across trials. Plant analysis found that Nutrisphere™ increased biomass at one location, although it did not affect tissue N concentration and did not result in consistent increases in plant N uptake. The significant impacts of Nutrisphere™ on plant biomass and corn yield indicate that it affects the N movement to the root surface over a short period of time after application. More research is needed to determine how Nutrisphere™ impacts N movement in the soil, N transformations and N uptake to improve recommendations regarding its use and potential for increasing yield.
© 2014 Ronnie W. Heiniger, Timothy A. Smith and Pawel Wiatrak. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.