Nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency in sweet corn; effect of variety

Nitrogen use varies dramatically among crops. Short season crops with relatively small biomass accumulation will not need as much nitrogen for growth as long season corn varieties that develop a large canopy. The recent introduction of sweet corn hybrids that tolerate root rot may reduce N fertilizer need. Hybrids such as Coho have extensive root systems that give this variety the ability to maintain yields even when the root system is severely compromised by root rot. Efficient use of nitrogen will reduce the cost of sweet corn production. It will also reduce potential non-point contamination of above and below ground water supplies, and if implemented properly, will reduce the competitive effect of small seeded weeds on sweet corn yield. The long-term goal of this research is to refine nitrogen fertilizer application rates for sweet corn. This project explored the possibility that ‘newer’ varieties such as Coho utilize N more efficiently than Jubilee, the variety with which N research was conducted previously.