maize, nitrogen uptake, post-flowering, fertilizer recovery efficiency, corn


In corn (Zea mays L.), breeding and selection for grain yield over time has been accom­panied by a simultaneous increase in plant nitrogen (N) uptake. The understanding of plant N dynamics has attracted attention due to the environmental concerns related to N losses coming from fertilization. This research study was implemented to 1) describe N uptake and allocation dynamics, and 2) quantify fertilizer recovery efficiency across late-N strategies. Two field experiments (one under irrigation and one rainfed) were conducted at the Ashland Bottoms Research Farm, KS, during 2017. Three hybrids with different year of release and three N scenarios were tested. Isotope 15N was utilized as tracer to determine 15N recovery and N fate within plant organs when both timings of late-N were evaluated. As 15N fertilizer was applied later in the season, lower recovery of the fertilizer was achieved and proportionally more N was allocated to the developing grains. These findings can motivate future investigations using 15N labelling technique to evaluate fertilizer recovery efficiency in corn.


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