Use and development of soil biological tests for estimating soil nitrogen (N) availability and subsequently corn (Zea mays L.) fertilizer N recommendations is garnering considerable interest.The objective of this research was to evaluate relationships between the Haney Soil Health Test (HSHT), also known as the Soil Health Tool or Haney test, and the economically optimum N rate (EONR) for corn grain yield at 17 sites in eight Midwest US states in 2016.Trials were conducted with a standard set of protocols that included a nonfer-tilized control plus six N rates applied at planting or as a split between planting and sidedress, soil samples for the HSHT prior to planting, and grain harvest at physiological maturity, and determination of EONR for each N application timing. Results indicated that HSHT recommendations with expected yield accounted for ≤28% of the variation in EONR among sites and N timings. Two components of the HSHT not directly used in the HSHT N recommendation for corn, the soil health calculation, or soil health score, and the Solvita carbon dioxide (CO2)-Burst lab test, accounted for the most variation in EONR.These two components were moderately related (R2 = 0.29 to 0.39) to soil organic matter (OM), highly related (R2 = 0.98) with each other, and subsequently both accounted for over one-half (R2 = 0.55) of the variation in EONR for N applied at planting or as a split. With additional research, these two components may help improve N recommendations for corn in the Midwest, especially Solvita CO2-Burst because it costs less to determine than the soil health calculation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was made possible by funding from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and DuPont Pioneer. The authors would like to thank Curtis Ransom and G.Mac Bean (University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri), Matt Shafer (Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana), Jason Clark (South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota), Chris Bandura (Dairyland Laboratories, Wausau, Wisconsin), and many other technicians and students for their help in establishing, maintaining, and sampling from the trials.
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- Economic optimum nitrogen rate
- Haney test
- Nitrogen timing
- Soil health calculation
- Soil health nutrient tool
- Solvita CO2-Burst