The objective of this study was to increase the efficiency of fall-applied N either by placement in bands or by using a slow-release fertilizer. Four field experiments were conducted in north-central Alberta to determine the influence of N source, time of application and method of placement on the recovery of fall-applied N as soil mineral N in May, and on yield and recovery of N in grain of spring-sown barley. The recovery in soil of mineral N by May from the fall-applied fertilizers varied among treatments. More specifically, the recovery was lowest with topdressed application, highest with banding, and tended to be less with incorporation application as compared to banding. Recovery of mineral N was least for sulphur-coated urea (SCU) compared with A.N. and urea, regardless of method of application. The loss of fall-applied N was substantial, but leaching did not go beyond 60 cm deep. Yield and recovery of N in barley grain were much greater with spring application than with fall application at the 4 sites for ammonium nitrate (A.N.) and at 3 sites for urea. The SCU treatments were inferior. The A.N. and urea had greatest yield and N recovery with banding, followed by incorporation and then with topdressing for both fall- and spring-applied N. Method of application had little effect on yield and N uptake with SCU. In all, the greatest yield or crop N uptake was obtained with spring banding of A.N. or urea, while SCU did not function well as a fall- or spring-applied N fertilizer. Â© 1992 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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