Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 175–185 | Cite as

Fertilizer nitrogen uptake efficiencies for potato as influenced by application timing

  • Libby Rens
  • Lincoln Zotarelli
  • Ashok Alva
  • Diane Rowland
  • Guodong Liu
  • Kelly Morgan
Original Article


Estimation of N uptake efficiency of fertilizer applications at different growth stages of crop plants is critical to develop management recommendations that enhance fertilizer use by minimizing N losses. In this study, the N-fertilizer uptake efficiency (FNUE) of two chipping potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) varieties (‘Atlantic’ and ‘FL1867’) under three typical fertilizer application timings was investigated. All treatments received a total of 225 kg ha−1 of N throughout the season, split into three applications of 75 kg ha−1 as ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) applied at pre-plant, plant emergence and tuber initiation. FNUE at each application timing was evaluated by the substitution of conventional N-fertilizer by isotope labeled ammonium nitrate (15NH 4 15 NO3). Total tuber yield was similar between the two varieties at 48.8 and 37.5 Mg ha−1 in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Likewise, the overall FNUE was also similar at 45 % across both varieties and years. FNUE was 11 % for the pre-plant application, while 62 % for the applications at emergence and tuber initiation stages. Since a small fraction of the N applied at pre-plant was recovered in the plant, N fertilizer application closer to the potato planting may increase the FNUE.


15Isotopes Solanum tuberosum Seepage irrigation Florida 



We would like to acknowledge the staff of the University of Florida, Hastings Agricultural Extension Center in Hastings, FL, Scott Taylor, Doug Gergela, Bart Herrington, Thaddis Merrick, Hugh Burnham, Dana Burhams, Scott Chamber for their assistance with field operations, sampling and sample analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Horticultural Science DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research ServiceSidneyUSA
  3. 3.Agronomy DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Soil and Water Sciences DepartmentUniversity of FloridaImmokaleeUSA

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