Anion exchange membrane soil nitrate predicts turfgrass color and yield.

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Desirable nitrogen (N) management practices for turfgrass supply sufficient N for high quality turf while limiting excess soil N. Previous studies suggested the potential of anion exchange membranes (AEMs) for predicting turfgrass color, quality, or yield. However, these studies suggested a wide range of critical soil nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) values across sample dates. A field experiment, in randomized complete block design with treatments consisting of nine N application rates, was conducted on a mixed species cool-season turfgrass lawn across two growing seasons. Every 2 wk from May to October, turfgrass color was assessed with three different reflectance meters, and soil NO3-N was measured with in situ AEMs. Cate-Nelson models were developed comparing relative reflectance value and yield to AEM desorbed soil NO3-N pooled across all sample dates. These models predicted critical AEM soil NO3-N values from 0. 45 to 1.4 micro g cm-2 d-1. Turf had a low probability of further positive response to AEM soil NO3-N greater than these critical values. These results suggest that soil NO3-N critical values from AEMs may be applicable across sample dates and years and may serve to guide N fertilization to limit excess soil NO3-N.


Published in Crop Science, Vol. 46(2) (2006), pp.569-577 at http://crop.scijournals.org/

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