Fertilizer equivalence of organic nitrogen applied in beef cattle manure

Juan Pablo Garcia Montealegre, Charles Wortmann, Richard Ferguson, Timothy Shaver, Richard Little, James Schepers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The fertilizer N equivalent (FNE) value of applied organic N (OrgN) is poorly predicted, often resulting in over-application of fertilizer N. Research was conducted for irrigated, continuous-corn (Zea mays L.) in eastern Nebraska with three rates of beef (Bos taurus) feedlot manure as main plot treatments and five pre-plant fertilizer N rates as sub-plot treatments. The objective was to determine the FNE for the first, second and third successive crops following feedlot manure application with different rates of OrgN and fertilizer N application. The in-season FNE, based on normalized difference crop reflectance for the crop canopy, was less with 74 compared with 37 Mg ha−1 manure applied for crop one after application but the manure rate effect on the subsequent two crops was inconsistent. The mean cumulative full-season FNE, based on grain yield, for the three successive crops, was 0.72 kg N kg−1 OrgN which was twice the in-season estimate of 0.36 kg kg−1 at growth stage V12, indicating significant apparent recovery of OrgN after V12. The full-season FNE varied inconsistently with pre-plant fertilizer N rate and the three successive crops following application. The mean manure N recovery efficiency was 0.139 kg N kg−1 OrgN year−1 for the three crops following application with no significant treatment effects. Manure is a valuable source of N but the N supply is highly variable for the crops following application so prediction of supply for a given season is unreliable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019


  • Manure
  • Nitrogen use
  • Organic materials
  • Organic N recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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