Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 75, Issue 1–3, pp 15–27 | Cite as

Crop 15N recovery course affected by spatial distribution of animal slurries in soils

  • J. Petersen


Crop response to applied nitrogen in animal slurry as affected by distribution pattern and slurry type was examined in spring barley using two slurries enriched with isotopic nitrogen (15N). The slurries differing in immobilisation potential were either fully incorporated in the soil or injected in concentrated bands in two fields of low and high fertility caused by the preceding crop. Band-injection of slurry was combined with furrow type formed by different injector tines as well as the distance between the slurry band and seed row. Spring barley was sampled nine times during the season for determination of dry matter (DM) accumulation, total nitrogen (N) uptake and crop recovery of applied nitrogen (15N recovery). A sigmoid growth function was fitted to the recorded crop 15N recovery. A slurry band to crop row (SB-CR) distance of 4 cm clearly promoted crop 15N recovery by 6–12 days and increased total N-uptake and DM accumulation compared with a SB-CR distance of 12 cm. In contrast, the furrow type neither affected the crop 15N recovery course, total N-uptake, nor DM accumulation. An elevated immobilisation potential in the slurry slowed the 15N recovery course. In contrast, crop 15N crop recovery was unaffected by the residual effect of the preceding crop. The elevated immobilisation potential of the slurry also reduced the DM accumulation, but the mineralisation potential of the preceding crop clearly increased total N-uptake and DM accumulation. As the SB-CR distance had a significant effect, this should be taken into account in agroecological systems using application of animal slurry in bands by direct injection.


Immobilisation Soil fertility 15N recovery Direct injection 


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Thanks to the technical team at the department lead by head laboratory assistant Karin Dyrberg for invaluable assistance during the experiment and for preparing the samples for analysis. Linguist M. Schacht has contributed with valuable comments to the manuscript. The experimental work was funded by the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Directorate for Food, Fisheries and Agro Business (project BÆR98–5).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AgroecologyDanish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Research Centre FoulumTjeleDenmark

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