Soil nitrogen dynamics after slurry injection in field trials: Evaluation of a soil sampling strategy
|Agriculture; Agronomy; band application; INORGANIC NITROGEN; LIQUID MANURE; LOSSES; mineral nitrogen; Plant Sciences; slurry injection; soil monolith; soil sampling method; Soil Science; TRANSFORMATIONS
|WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH
|JOURNAL OF PLANT NUTRITION AND SOIL SCIENCE
Slurry injection below maize seeds is a rather new application technique developed to improve the nitrogen use efficiency of liquid organic manure. To enable the characterization of the spatial and temporal soil mineral nitrogen (SMN) dynamics after slurry injection, the present study aims to develop an appropriate soil sampling strategy. Three consecutive experiments were conducted. The first testing of the soil sampling approach was conducted in an existing field trial where the slurry was injected down to a depth of 12 cm (upper rim) below the soil surface. The soil profile (75 cm wide) centered below the maize row was sampled grid-like to a depth of 90 cm. Around the injection zone, soil monoliths (SM) were sampled using a purpose-built soil shovel. Below the SMs and in the interrow space (15 and 30 cm distance to the row) a standardized auger procedure was performed. The second experiment aimed at improving the sampling strategy with a focus on sample homogenization quality and necessary sample sizes per pooled sample. Furthermore, the risk of a carryover of slurry components along the soil core due to drilling an auger through a slurry band was analyzed. In the third experiment this improved sampling strategy was validated. Results from the first testing of the sampling procedure showed that the strategy is suitable, although some problems occurred (especially the high spread in values among the replications causing high coefficients of variation (CV) of mostly 40-60%). The improvement trial revealed that due to the high gradient of SMN concentration in the direct range of the injection zone an intensive homogenization of these samples is required. Suitable sample sizes (twelve auger samples and six soil monolith samples per pooled sample) have to be collected to obtain reliable SMN values. Drilling an auger through a slurry band to sample subjacent soil layers has to be avoided. Following this enhanced sampling strategy, in the final validation trial the spread in values were considerably reduced and resulted in CV values of mostly < 20%. The developed sampling strategy enables the characterization of the spatial and temporal SMN dynamics when slurry has been band-injected below a maize row. The method can be transferred to other row crops and different slurry injection spacing.
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checked on Mar 3, 2024