Journal of NACAA

Potential Nitrogen Mineralization Variability in Commercial Row Crop Fields

ISSN 2158-9429

Volume 16, Issue 2 - December 2023

Editor: Linda Chalker-Scott


Nitrogen transformation in soils is crucial in determining nitrogen availability for plant growth. Row crop producers have widely adopted cover crops across the U.S. However, less is known about nitrogen (N) transformations in fields with and without cover crops. Additionally, less is known about the spatial variability of potential nitrogen mineralization from the soil in row crops and how it varies between cropping systems. An in-situ mineralization study was conducted in two Alabama row crop farms to evaluate the variability of potential nitrogen mineralization across locations within a farm. Results demonstrated that a farm with cover crop and residue retention history had a mineralization rate of 1.18 to 3.89 lb/acre/day. In contrast, another farm with no cover crop had a mineralization potential of 0.93 to 1.17 lb/acre/day. These findings underscore the importance of cover crops and residue retention for enhancing nitrogen mineralization potential.

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