WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Organic & Integrated Tree Fruit Production

Saturday, July 21, 2018

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2480. Harris, G. and O.B. Hesterman. 1990. Quantifying the nitrogen contribution from alfalfa to soil and two succeeding crops using N-15.. Agron. J. 82:129-134.
This study quantified the N contribution from different alfalfa plant parts to a subsequent corn crop, various soil fractions, and a 2nd year spring barley crop. Corn recovered 17 and 25% of the alfalfa applied N-15 on a loam and sandy loam soil respectively. Alfalfa N-15 remaining in soil averaged 46% of the initial input. Most (96%) of the alfalfa N-15 remaining in soil was recovered in the organic fraction, with microbial biomass accounting for 18% of this recovery. More N-15 was reocvered by corn and in soil from alfalfa shoots than roots/crowns. More was recovered from a spring incorporation than a fall incorporation on the loam soil. Only 1% of the alfalfa N-15 from the original application was recovered by a 2nd year spring barley crop.

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