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4022. Mahler, R.L.. 1990. Nitrogen database project - final report.. unpublished report for Dryland Cereal/Legume LISA project.
This project had two components: 1) development of a comprehensive database on winter wheat response to nitrogen fertilizer rates; 2) evaluation of the potential of peas, alfalfa, and wheat straw as nitrogen sources for a following wheat crop in rotation. The database study examined winter wheat yield response to 41 nitrogen rates. When soil test N + mineralizable N + fertilizer N ranged from 101 to 175 kg/ha, a requirement of 2.75 lb N per bushel of wheat was calculated. This agrees with the figure calculated by Leggett in the 1950's, indicating that modern varieties have not changed in their basic nitrogen requirement, when nitrogen fertilizer efficiency is assumed to be 50%. At total available N rates greater than 175 kg/ha, the N requirement per bushel of wheat increased dramatically. Low rates did not show a large increase in efficiency on a per bushel basis. At Moscow, N fertilizer application rates less than 95 kg/ha resulted in greater than 50% N use efficiency. Efficiency declined rapidly at rates above this. The green manure study compared alfalfa, pea, and green wheat straw residues applied at 1, 2, and 3 mt/ha. In general, higher rates of pea and alfalfa resulted in higher wheat yields. The highest yields were with the high rate of pea residue. It was more effective than alfalfa residue, probably due to faster decomposition. Alfalfa provided more N per ton of residue (31 kg/mt) than the peas (29 kg/mt), while straw added 19 kg/mt.
4115. Mathers, A.C., B.A. Stewert and B. Blair. 1975. Nitrate-nitrogen removal from soil profiles by alfalfa.. J. Environmental Quality, 4(3):403-405.
Alfalfa was shown to be effective in removing nitrate from soil profiles deeper than the annual crop rooting zone. In spite of being a N-fixer, alfalfa will utilize nitrogen from the soil first. It can be used in rotation with annual crops to reduce groundwater contamination by agricultural applications of N. T: Nitrate-N removal from soil by alfalfa by depth.