Maize Grain Composition with Additions of NPK Briquette and Organically Enhanced N Fertilizer
Research Center of Agricultural Environment and Resources, Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun 130033, China
Department of Plant Sciences, The University of Tennessee, 605 Airways Blvd., Jackson, TN 38301, USA
State Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Ginseng Breeding and Application, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, China
Crop Genetics Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA
Soil and Plant Nutrition Division, Fertilizer Research Programs, International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), P.O. Box 2040, Muscle Shoals, AL 35662, USA
Crop Genetics Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Jackson, TN 38301, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 852; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060852
Received: 16 May 2020 / Revised: 4 June 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published: 15 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fertility Management for Better Crop Production)
NPK fertilizer briquettes (NPKBriq) and organically enhanced N fertilizer (OENF), as newly developed fertilizer products, are reported to increase maize (Zea mays L.) yield and N use efficiency, but their effects on maize grain composition are unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of NPKBriq and OENF on the protein, oil, fiber, ash, and starch of maize grain. A field study was conducted at Jackson and Grand Junction, TN, during 2012 and 2013, with NPKBriq, OENF, ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4) (+P and K), and urea (+P and K) as the main treatments and 0, 85, 128, and 170 kg N ha−1 as the sub treatments under a randomized complete block split plot design with four replicates. The fiber concentration was more responsive to the fertilizer source than the protein, oil, ash, and starch concentrations. OENF resulted in a higher fiber concentration than NPKBriq at 85 kg N ha−1 in 2013, averaged over the two sites. Both OENF and NPKBriq had nearly no significant effects on the concentrations of the quality attributes compared with ammonium sulfate and urea. In conclusion, the nutrient-balanced NPKBriq exerts the same or greater effects on maize grain quality relative to the commonly used nutrient management practices of urea (+P and K) and ammonium sulfate (+P and K) under normal weather conditions. OENF is an alternate N source to urea and ammonium sulfate for similar to higher maize grain quality.