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Yield response of potato to spatially patterned nitrogen application
- Although crop response to nitrogen fertilization has long been studied, classical experimental designs have led to inadequate accounting of spatial variability in field properties and yield response. Analytical methods to explicitly account for spatial variability now exist but the complementary modification of experimental design is still developing. There is a need to combine these analytical methods with non-traditional experimental design. A 2-year study was implemented to assess the response of potato (Solanum tuberosum cv. Kennebec) yield to nitrogen fertilizer rate. We used a transect-type plot design where four nitrogen treatments (0, 56, 112, and 280kgNha⁻¹) were applied systematically in a continuous sinusoidal pattern along longitudinal transects. Measured field properties included topography, soil texture, pre-application soil nitrate levels, and plant available soil water content. A random field linear model was used to simultaneously account for treatment effects and soil properties. The results showed that treatment effects were significantly different from each other; however, if spatially correlated errors were accounted for, these differences were smaller and significance levels lower. Nitrogen response functions varied widely throughout the field. Of the covariates, only clay content proved important in explaining spatial differences in response to N. The sinusoidal response pattern of N was similar over the 2 years but the amplitudes varied due to differences in weather. Interactions between uncharacteristically high rainfall and a sandy field soil may have minimized discernable effects of the other covariates. The results demonstrated how the statistical analysis of potato response to a patterned application of nitrogen fertilizer can take advantage of spatial correlations to understand the response of potato to nitrogen application over larger areas.
Shillito, Rose M. , Timlin, Dennis J. , Fleisher, David , Reddy, V.R. , Quebedeaux, Bruno
potatoes , Solanum tuberosum , nitrogen fertilizers , fertilizer application , crop yield , plant nutrition , spatial variation , field experimentation , soil texture , nitrates , soil water content , soil nutrients , clay fraction , rain , sandy soils , statistical analysis , Maryland
- Includes references
- Agriculture, ecosystems & environment 2009 Jan., v. 129, no. 1-3
- Amsterdam; New York: Elsevier
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
- Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.