Fertilizer research

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 267–277 | Cite as

Effects of nitrification inhibitors and time and rate of slurry and fertilizer N application on silage maize yield and losses to the environment

  • J. J. Schröder
  • L. ten Holte
  • H. van Keulen
  • J. H. A. M. Steenvoorden


Field experiments with silage maize during eight years on a sandy soil in The Netherlands, showed that dicyandiamide (DCD) addition to autumn-applied cattle slurry retarded nitrification, thus reducing nitrate losses during winter. Spring-applied slurry without DCD, however, was on average associated with even lower losses and higher maize dry matter yields.

Economically optimum supplies of mineral N in the upper 0.6 m soil layer in spring (EOSMN), amounted to 130–220 kg ha−1. Year to year variation of EOSMN could not be attributed to crop demand only. According to balance sheet calculations on control plots, apparent N mineralization between years varied from 0.36 to 0.94 kg ha−1 d−1. On average, forty percent of the soil mineral N (SMN) supply in spring, was lost during the growing season. Hence, the amounts of residual soil mineral N (RSMN) were lower than expected. Multiple regression with SMN in spring, N crop uptake and cumulative rainfall as explanatory variables, could account for 79 percent of the variation in RSMN.

Postponement of slurry applications to spring and limiting N inputs to economically optimum rates, were insufficient measures to keep the nitrate concentration in groundwater below the EC level for drinking water.

Key words

animal manure leaching maize nitrification inhibitor nitrogen recovery 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Addiscott TM and Powlson DS (1992) Partitioning losses of nitrogen fertilizer between leaching and denitrification. J Agric Sci Camb 118: 101–107.Google Scholar
  2. Amberger A (1986) Potentials of nitrification inhibitors in modern N fertilizer management. Z Pflanzenernähr Bodenkd 149: 469–484.Google Scholar
  3. Anonymus (1980) European Economic Community Council directive on the quality of water for human consumption. Official Journal 23, 80/778 EECL 229: 11–29.Google Scholar
  4. Anonymus (1989) Adviesbasis voor bemesting van grasland en voedergewassen, pp 1–72. Consulentschap voor bodem-, water- en bemestingszaken in de veehouderij, Wageningen, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  5. Bach W (1989) Growing consensus and challenge regarding a greenhouse climate. In: Climate and Food Security, pp 289–305. IRRI, Los Banos, Philippines.Google Scholar
  6. Bassel R, Müller S and Görlitz H (1987) Operative Anpassung der N-Düngung zu Silomais durch Einbeziehung des anorganischen Bodenstickstoffs. Arch Acker-Pflanzenb Bodenkd Berlin 31: 47–53.Google Scholar
  7. Beauchamp EG and Kachanoski RG (1989) A N soil test for corn. In: Annual Report 1988, pp 69–70. Dept Land Resource Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada.Google Scholar
  8. Blackmer AM, Pottker D, Cerrato ME and Webb J (1989) Correlation between soil nitrate concentrations in late spring and corn yields in Iowa. J Prod Agric 2: 103–109.Google Scholar
  9. Dijk TA van (1985) Leaching of plant nutrients from arable land as affected by annual applications of cattle slurry (Dutch with English summary), pp 1–61. Report 2-85, Institute for Soil Fertility, Haren, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  10. Görlitz H (1989) Verringerung der N-Verlagerung im Boden nach Gülledüngung durch Einsatz von Nitrifikationsinhibitoren; Ergebnisse aus Lysimeteruntersuchungen. Arch Acker- Pflanzenbau Bodenkd Berlin 33: 567–572.Google Scholar
  11. Greenwood DJ, Neeteson JJ, Draycott A, Wijnen G and Stone DA (1992) Measurement and simulation of the effect of N-fertilizer on growth, plant composition and distribution of soil mineral-N in nationwide onion experiments. Fert Res 33: 305–318.Google Scholar
  12. Guenzi WD, Beard WE, Watanabe FS, Olsen SR and Porter LK (1978) Nitrification and denitrification in cattle manure amended soil. J Environ Qual 7: 196–202.Google Scholar
  13. Hauck RD (1980) Mode of action of nitrification inhibitors. In: Meisinger JJ, Randall GW and Vitosh ML (eds) Nitrification inhibitors, potentials and limitations, pp 19–31. Am Soc of Agron Madison, Wis.Google Scholar
  14. Jokela WE and Randall GW (1989) Corn yield and residual soil nitrate as affected by time and rate of nitrogen application. Agron J 81: 720–726.Google Scholar
  15. Lorenz F (1992) Gülledüngung mit ergänzenden Mineral-N-Gaben zur Erzielung optimaler Erträge bei niedrigem Nitrataustrag. Göttinger Bodenkundliche Berichte 99: 1–172. Universität Göttingen, Göttingen.Google Scholar
  16. Maddux LD, Raczkowski CW, Kissel DE and Barnes PL (1991) Broadcast and subsurface-banded urea nitrogen in urea ammonium nitrate applied to corn. Soil Sci Soc Am J 55: 264–267.Google Scholar
  17. Magdoff FR (1991) Understanding the Magdoff pre-sidedress nitrate test for corn. J Prod Agric 4: 297–305.Google Scholar
  18. Motavalli PP, Bundy LG, Andraski TW and Peterson AE (1992) Residual effects of long-term fertilization on nitrogen availability to corn. J Prod Agric 5: 363–368.Google Scholar
  19. Rice CW, Sierzega PW, Tiedje M and Jacobs LW (1988) Stimulated denitrification in the micro-environment of a biodegradable organic waste injected into soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 52: 102–108.Google Scholar
  20. Sawyer JE, Schmitt MA, Hoeft RG, Siemens JC and Vanderholm DH (1991) Corn production associated with liquid beef manure application methods. J Prod Agric 3: 335–344.Google Scholar
  21. Schröder JJ and Dilz K (1987) Cattle slurry and farmyard manure as fertilizers for forage maize. In: Meer HG van der, Unwin RJ, Dijk TA van and Ennik GC (eds) Animal manure on grassland and fodder crops, pp 137–156. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  22. Schröder JJ (1990) Nitrogen losses with maize cropping (Dutch with English summary). Meststoffen 1/2: 25–32.Google Scholar
  23. Schröder JJ, Groot WJM de and Dijk W van (1992) Nitrogen losses from continuous maize as affected by cover crops. In: Archer JR, Goulding KWT, Jarvis SC, Knott CM, Lord E, Ogilvy SE, Orson J, Smith KA and Wilson B (eds) Nitrate and Farming Systems, Aspects of Applied Biology 30: 317–326.Google Scholar
  24. Solansky S (1981) SKW-Didin Stickstoffstabilisator; Versuchsergebnisse und Anwendungsempfehlungen. Bayer Landw Jahrbuch 7: 879–891.Google Scholar
  25. Tardieu F and Pellerin S (1991) Influence of soil temperature during root appearance on the trajectory of nodal roots of field grown maize. Plant and Soil 131: 207–214.Google Scholar
  26. Thom ER and Watkin BR (1978) Effect of rate and time of fertiliser nitrogen application on total plant, shoot and root yields of maize. N Z J Exp Agric 6: 29–38.Google Scholar
  27. Vilsmeier K and Amberger A (1987) Zur nitrifikationshemmenden Wirkung von Dicyandiamid zu Gülle in der Zeit zwischen Spätherbst und Frühjahr. Z Pflanzenernähr Bodenkd 150: 47–50.Google Scholar
  28. Wantulla A, Vollmer FJ and Kühbauch W (1988) Einfluss von Düngunsmassnahmen auf die Stickstoffauswaschung bei mehrjährigem Silomaisanbau. Z Pflanzenernähr Bodenkd 151: 97–102.Google Scholar
  29. Willigen P de and Noordwijk M van (1987) Roots, plant production and nutrient use efficiency, pp 1–282. PhD Thesis Agricultural University Wageningen, Wageningen.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Schröder
    • 2
  • L. ten Holte
    • 2
  • H. van Keulen
    • 2
  • J. H. A. M. Steenvoorden
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.DLO Centre for Agrobiological Research (CABO-DLO)WageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.DLO Staring Centre for Integrated LandSoil and Water Research (SC-DLO)WageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations