Research Article Open Access

THE IMPACT OF THE POLYMER COATING NUTRISPHERE™ IN INCREASING NITROGEN USE EFFICIENCY AND CORN YIELD

Timothy A. Smith1, Ronnie W. Heiniger1 and Pawel Wiatrak2
  • 1 North Carolina State University, United States
  • 2 Clemson University, United States

Abstract

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.

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Volume 9 No. 1, 2014, 44-54

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajabssp.2014.44.54

Submitted On: 23 November 2013 Published On: 21 December 2013

How to Cite: Smith, T. A., Heiniger, R. W. & Wiatrak, P. (2014). THE IMPACT OF THE POLYMER COATING NUTRISPHERE™ IN INCREASING NITROGEN USE EFFICIENCY AND CORN YIELD. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 9(1), 44-54. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajabssp.2014.44.54

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Keywords

  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen Use Efficiency
  • Polymer Fertilizer Coating
  • Urea Ammonium Nitrate (UAN)
  • Nutrisphere™