Wednesday, 8 October 2008: 10:00 AM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 360F
An experiment initiated in the Spring of 2007 at the Sand Mountain Agricultural Experiment Station in Crossville, AL will be discussed. The objective of this experiment is to evaluate the loss of NH3 from different land management (conventional tillage vs. conservation tillage), fertilizers (urea-ammonium nitrate; ammonium nitrate; poultry litter), and fertilizer application methods (banding vs. surface applying) used in the production of corn (Zea mays). Ammonia flux was evaluated using a method we developed for use in static chambers involving glass tubes coated with oxalic acid. The experimental design was a split-plot design with four replicates for all treatments. Preliminary results indicate that ammonia fluxes can be reduced by banding in fertilizers and that the impact of banding fertilizers is more pronounced in the conservation tillage system. This is particularly important for poultry litter, as often the nuisance smell factor associated with NH3 fluxes following surface applications limit the use of poultry litter as a fertilizer. In addition to reducing the losses of this important air quality gas, NH3 flux reduction results in greater N retention in the soil. Results from the first year showed higher yields in the fertilizer treatments that were banded over the volatile N fertilizer sources.