Comparison of early season stem nitrate and leaf total nitrogen concentrations across corn hybrids1

J. S. Schepers, D. D. Francis, R. B. Ferguson, R. D. Lohry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Basal stem nitrate-N concentration in young maize plants has been proposed as a method to evaluate soil nitrogen (N) adequacy for near maximum yields. While plants are usually considered good integrators of soil N availability, adoption of tissue testing procedures to evaluate crop N status may depend on metabolic differences between maize cultivars. Research was initiated to evaluate if there are cultivar induced differences in basal stein nitrate-N concentration and total N concentration in hnaize leaves at the V6 growth stage. A nitrification inhibitor (nitrapyrin) was incorporated into split plots at planting to create two inorganic N regimes. Large variations in basal stem nitrate concentration within hybrids precluded detection of differences between hybrids for either year of the study as a result of the nitrification inhibitor. In contrast, leaf N concentration was different between hybrids for both years, but was not affected by nitrapyrin treatment. Cultivr selection based on leaf N concentration may be one criterion used to identify genetic material with unique metabolic characteristics for use in development of cultivars with traits for improved N utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1381-1390
Number of pages10
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number13-16
StatePublished - Aug 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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