The effect of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) on spring and annual herbage production in urine patches when applied in late summer or early autumn

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Abstract

A cut plot experiment was undertaken at two sites in Ireland, one a free-draining acid brown earth at Moorepark (MPK) and the other a fine loam soil with imperfect drainage at Johnstown Castle (JC). The effect of applying the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) at 10 kg ha−1 in July, August and September or not applying DCD to plots receiving synthetic urine or zero urine on spring and annual herbage production was examined. In the experiment, each site received 350 kg nitrogen (N) fertilizer ha−1 year−1. The application of DCD in August at a rate of 10 kg ha−1 significantly increased spring and annual herbage production by 14 and 15%, respectively, at MPK, when applied following urine application in year 1. There was no effect of DCD applied in year 1 on herbage production at JC. The application of DCD in August resulted in lower soil total oxidized N (TON) content up to sampling day 56 post-urine application, at MPK in year 1, retaining higher N content in the soil. There was no effect of DCD on any of the parameters measured in year 2 at MPK or at JC. Urine application did not increase spring herbage production at either site. Urine application significantly increased annual herbage production at MPK only in year 1. Urine application increased annual herbage N uptake, herbage crude protein (CP) content and soil mineral N at both sites in both years.

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