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Conservation tillage initiative accounting for nitrogen mineralization and its roles in conservation cropping systems

Schoenau, J.J., C.A. Campbell, H. Beckie and S. Brandt. 1998. In Green Plan: Final Project Report. AAFC


Research Question:

Nitrogen mineralization is the conversion of organic forms of nitrogen contained in soil organic matter and crop residues into the plant available inorganic forms: ammonium and nitrate. Mineralization is a key component of overall soil nitrogen supplying power and soil quality in prairie soils. Being able to accurately predict and account for mineralization is essential for sound nitrogen fertilizer recommendations. The inherent ability of a soil to release nutrients by mineralization can also be affected by management practices. We set out to address two important questions surrounding nitrogen mineralization:
1) What are suitable approaches to assessing mineralization contributions in prairie soils?
2) How are soil conserving management practices (rotation, tillage, fertilization) influencing nitrogen mineralization in prairie soils?