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S. Castro Bustamante and T.K. Hartz

(top 30 cm) and 6 to 32 mg·kg −1 (0–60 cm), with >90% in NO 3 -N form in all fields. Large differences in bicarbonate extractable (Olsen) soil P (4–98 mg·kg −1 ) were also observed. Table 1. Soil characteristics, nitrogen management practices and

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George J. Hochmuth

Efficient N management practices usually involve many potential strategies, but always involve choosing the correct amount of N and the coupling of N management to efficient water management. Nitrogen management strategies are integral parts of improved production practices recommended by land-grant universities such as the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Univ. of Florida. This paper, which draws heavily on research and experience in Florida, outlines the concepts and technologies for managing vegetable N fertilization to minimize negative impacts on the environment.

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Daniel Leskovar and Yahia A. Othman

of olive tree cultivars J. Plant Nutr. 32 129 145 Socolow, R. 1999 Nitrogen management and the future of food: Lessons from the management of energy and carbon Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96 6001 6008 Takács, E. Técsi, L. 1992 Effects of NO 3 − /NH 4

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David Sotomayor-Ramírez, Miguel Oliveras-Berrocales, and Linda Wessel-Beaver

. Pasuquin, J.M.C.A. Mutters, R. Buresh, R.J. 2005 New leaf color chart for effective nitrogen management in rice Better Crops Plant Food 89 36 39 Wyenandt, C.A. Heckman, J.R. Maxwell, N.L. 2008 Pumpkin fruit size and quality improve with leaf mulch

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Roland E. Roberts and Michael G. Hickey

Texas processing potato growers want high tuber yield and soluble solids with optimal nitrogen (N) fertilization to avoid leaching N into underground water. A 3-year on-farm study demonstrated petiole and soil testing methods for N enabling growers to apply N at rates and times for maximum yield with acceptable specific gravity. For example, a FL-1553 crop received 160 N kg/ha in irrigation water spread over 126-day season. Sampling every 2 weeks from early vegetative stage to harvest showed petiole N of 22,000 ppm on day 40; 6,000 ppm on day 54; 3,000 ppm on day 68; 7,000 ppm on day 96; and 2,000 ppm by day 110. At harvest total tuber N = 1.12%; tuber specific gravity = 1.081 (17.1 % FritoLay solids); and processor acceptable yield = 304 q/ha. The crop removed nearly all applied N.

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Peter Bierman and Tom Wall

Inadequate N can reduce growth and yield, but excess N can be uneconomical and environmentally harmful. Our objective was to investigate the potential for using fertigation and on-farm plant-nutrient monitoring to improve the efficiency of N fertilizer use by bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.). Two N fertilizer treatments were compared: 1) all N applied preplant and 2) one-third of the N applied preplant and the remainder injected into the drip-irrigation lines throughout the growing season. Total application rates were N at 118 kg·ha–1 for both treatments. Data were collected for total yield, marketable yield, and fruit size. Leaf and petiole samples were collected every 2 weeks and were used to monitor plant N status throughout the growing season. A Horiba/Cardy nitrate meter was used to measure nitrate concentrations in freshly-pressed petiole sap. A SPAD chlorophyll meter was used to measure leaf chlorophyll content and give an indirect measure of leaf N concentrations. Subsamples of leaves and petioles also were saved for conventional laboratory analyses. Whole (aboveground) plant samples were collected every 2 weeks, analyzed, and used to calculate differences in N accumulation. Suction cup samplers were installed at the 24-in soil depth and water samples collected every 1 to 2 weeks for nitrate analysis. Except for early in the growing season, petiole sap nitrate and leaf chlorophyll were higher in the fertigation treatment. Plant dry matter and total N accumulation also were much larger, but fertigation did not increase yield. Nitrate leaching was greater early in the season with 100% preplant N, but later in the season it was greater with fertigation. Data suggested that adequate plant N, reduced nitrate leaching, and equivalent yields are possible with fertigation at reduced N-rates compared to 100% preplant fertilizer applications.

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T.K. Hartz and F.J. Costa

The production of cool-season vegetable crops in California's coastal valleys is characterized by high N input (typically 200–300 kg·ha–1 per crop), with two crops per year the norm. N. removal in harvested biomass seldom exceeds 100 kg·ha–1, suggesting a high degree of inefficiency in N management. A project was conducted on a commercial farm in Santa Maria to document the utility of intensive monitoring of soil and plant N status on improving N management. Eight fields were monitored through successive cropping cycles. Slow-release N fertilizer was applied preplant at 110–250 kg·ha–1 in subplots in each field to provide a reference of known N sufficiency against which to compare field productivity; these reference plots also received the same in-season fertilizer N applied in the balance of the field. N monitoring techniques included: in situ and controlled-environment soil incubation to estimate net N mineralization, soil NO3-N analysis by a “quick test” technique using colormetric test strips, and petiole sap analysis by NO3-N selective electrode. It was consistently demonstrated that, for lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli, maximum crop productivity was obtained with seasonal N applications 50–100 kg N/ha less than the industry norm and that fertilizer cost savings more than offset the cost of crop and soil monitoring.

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Maurice L. Vitosh, George H. Silva, Richard D. Leep, and David S. Douches

A procedure for rapid determination of nitrate in the fresh petiole sap using an ion specific electrode was developed. A highly significant correlation (R2-0.92) was obtained between the nitrate measured by the sap test and the conventional oven-dried tissue method.

The effects of five nitrogen(N) rates ranging from 0 to 268 kg ha-1, and five dates of sampling dates beginning at tuber initiation, on the sap nitrate concentration were investigated. The nitrate level increased in proportion to N fertilizer rate. The nitrate level was generally higher at tuber initiation and decreased as the season progressed. The rate of decrease was related to the N supply in the soil. At N rates of 0 and 67 Kg ha-1, the average weekly decrease in the nitrate level was greater than 100 ppm. Based on yield response, the nitrate levels were partitioned as deficient adequate and excessive, and a critical nutrient range was established. The sap test offers a tactical approach for corrective in-season fertilization and a means to increase the efficiency of both fertilizer and available soil N.

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Amir Ali Khoddamzadeh and Bruce L. Dunn

Nitrogen (N) is an important component of proteins and chlorophyll, and has been correlated with optical sensors as a means to determine N status during crop production. In this experiment, chrysanthemum ‘Amico Bronze’ and ‘Jacqueline Yellow’ had initial controlled-release fertilizer rates of 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20 g. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil Plant Analytical Development (SPAD), and atLEAF sensor readings were taken at 10, 17, 24, 31, 38, and 45 days after adding initial fertilizer treatments (DAT). NDVI was correlated with leaf N concentration at all sampling dates except 17 DAT. Values for NDVI increased linearly up to 31 DAT for all treatments then plateaued at 45 DAT. Values for SPAD were only correlated with leaf N at 24 DAT, whereas, NDVI was correlated as early as 10 DAT. The atLEAF sensor was not correlated with leaf N at any sampling date. With weeks combined, correlation analysis showed correlations among leaf N and fertilizer rates, fertilizer rates and SPAD, and SPAD with NDVI and atLEAF. Thirty-one days after initial fertilizer treatment, 10 pots per treatment per cultivar were supplemented as following: 15 g supplemented to the 0 g treatment, 10 g to the 5 g treatment, and 5 g to the 10 g treatment at 31 DAT. With supplemented fertilizer treatments (SFTs), NDVI increased weekly until 45 DAT for ‘Amico Bronze’, while SPAD values did not increase in any treatments. The greatest atLEAF values occurred with 10 (+5) g and 0 (+15) g N in both cultivars. All sensor readings were only taken on leaves without any flowers. The greatest number of flowers, plant height, and shoot dry weight occurred with 10 (+5) g of additional N, but no differences occurred between 5 (+10) g and 0 (+15) g for height and shoot dry weight. No correlations existed between fertilizer rates, SPAD, NDVI, and leaf N for SFT in either cultivar. In summary, results indicated that NDVI values correlated greater (P ≤ 0.05 and P ≤ 0.01) with leaf N than SPAD and atLEAF chlorophyll sensors. Supplemental fertilizer application improved plant quality in terms of number of flowers, plant height, and shoot dry weight for all treatments, indicating that SFT could be used to correct N deficiency during crop production; however, not in combination with nondestructive sensor readings because of inconsistencies in the ability of all three sensors to separate among fertilizer treatments during a short production schedule.

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Daniel Schellenberg, Ronald Morse, and Gregory Welbaum

Weed suppression and nitrogen (N) management present the greatest challenges to organic growers. Cover crops, the strategic use of tillage, and multiple nitrogen sources are being investigated in order to develop integrated management practices. Combinations of legume and grass cover crops are being utilized as alternative N sources and as tools for weed suppression. Another objective is to compare conventional and no-till practices to determine when the strategic use of tillage is most beneficial for N management and weed control. The last objective is to evaluate the fate of applied N and N released from cover decomposition on crop development. The best combinations of cover crop species, the frequency and intensity of tillage, and optimum N rates will be determined for the production of organic broccoli. This project will aid growers interested in transitioning to organic farming. In addition, integrated management practices that balance the short-term needs for crop productivity and the long-term interests of sustainable production will be reported.