Source: MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIV submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Jul 1, 2012
Project End Date
Jun 30, 2016
Grant Year
Project Director
Golden, B. R.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Delta Research & Extension Center
Non Technical Summary
Upland crop management practices in the Mississippi Delta are diverse dependent upon the commodity produced. However, across commodity groups and production methods a foundation exists centered on some form of nutrient application. Short term land rents, volatility in the fertilizer market, and growing concern over environmental issues associated with fertilization have led to challenges in developing fertilization programs and soil nutrient management strategies. Greater efficiency with regard to nutrient management techniques is warranted. Specifically, techniques that adequately describe the proper quantity and source of nutrients required to produce optimal plant yield while minimizing fertilizer movement in the landscape and/or the atmosphere are sought.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
The project will attempt to improve soil test based fertilizer recommendations via correlation of plant tissue and grain/fiber yield with soil test indices assessed by routine soil analysis. Validation of nutrient recommendations based on field research is needed to further develop agronomic and environmentally sustainable fertilization practices in Mississippi. Field research in the Mississippi Delta is needed to investigate the utility and value of using alternative fertilizer sources as well as application methods that may improve nutrient use efficiency. Objective 1. 1. Categorize the range of critical soil test levels for macro and major micronutrients by routine soil analysis for soils that require nutrient application to produce optimal yields for corn, soybean, cotton, and soft red winter wheat. Objective 2. Evaluate the feasibility of utilizing alternative and enhanced efficiency N sources in comparison to traditional N fertilization programs for principal agronomic row-crops of Mississippi. At Termination of the project expected outcomes include an up to date soil test recommendation for potash and phosphate that is based on both the Mehlich-3 and Lancaster soil test methods resulting from research conducted on modern high yielding cultivars, a set of regression based equations that could be used for variable rate nutrient application strategies, and positive correlation of tissue concentration with crop yield to help aid in season diagnostics for troubleshooting nutrient deficiencies.Determination of specific nutrient application strategies and/or the usefulness of new technology products at minimizing nutrient loss from the plant soil system. These determinations will help revise best management practices for nutrient management in Mississippi, if applicable.Data obtained from this project will be distributed to stakeholders via presentation at county, state, and national meetings, published in both refereed and extension avenues, and used extensively on trouble shooting visits to production fields.
Project Methods
Primary focus of this research will work on correlation of nutrients with soybean, wheat, and corn yield response, and tissue concentration at critical stages of crop growth and development. Trials will focus on correlation of the Mehlich-3 and Lancaster soil test extractant to crop response. Trials will be conducted using a range of single fertilizer rates ranging from low to high and include a no fertilizer of interest control for each crop evaluated. Research will gauge crop response to Other essential plant nutrients will be supplied at optimal levels to ensure they are not yield limiting factors. When resources allow, multiple sites will be established each year. Studies will be conducted on experiment stations and in producer fields when possible for data to include a range of production practices and management techniques. A minimum of four replications will be used at each site-year. Soil samples will be collected from the untreated control areas of each test, extracted with Mehlich-3, cataloged and stored for future analysis if necessary. Aboveground plant biomass will be collected at one to two critical growth stages to examine tissue response to fertilization. Once a critical mass of data has been collected, correlation of soil test data with tissue concentration, biomass, and relative yield response will be evaluated utilizing both linear and nonlinear regression techniques to determine critical concentrations. Commercially available and/or experimental polymer coated N sources will be evaluated for N uptake, N use efficiency, and grain yield compared to standard N fertilization practices for row crops of Mississippi. Each polymer coated N source will be applied at four to five total N rates appropriate for each cropping system (e.g. 0 to 240 lbs N ac-1 for corn; 0 to 150 lbs N ac-1 for cotton) and compared to identical total N rates of either UAN and/or urea. For corn and cotton, N application timings will consist of preplant, sidedress and/or split applications to evaluate management practices effect on the suitability of polymer-coated urea as an alternate N source. Research will be conducted in irrigated environments. Treatments will be replicated at least four times at each site-year. Regression analysis will be used to compare N rate response across N source and application time treatments. If preliminary trial results suggest polymer coated urea may provide utility as an N source, research will be initiated to refine crop management strategies that enhance the probability of adapting controlled release N sources for use in Mississippi. Research would include altering nutrient application times and placement. Field and/or laboratory incubations will be utilized to determine the N release profile across time of selected controlled release N sources in soils commonly cultivated to row crops. Field and laboratory trials will be based at the Delta Research and Extension Center, with additional trials established at other MAFES stations and producers fields when land becomes available. Field measurements will include grain yield, tissue and soil analysis, and possible examination of N loss pathways as resources allow.

Progress 01/01/12 to 12/31/12

OUTPUTS: Activities: Soil Test Correlation/Calibration is extremely important for the overall productivity of Mississippi producers. In 2012 research was initiated to implement a strategy for revisiting Mississippi State University's P and K soil test recommendations. Current work includes the three major row crops in Mississippi soybean, corn, and cotton. Also work is underway to develop Zn fertilization recommendations for corn. Work completed in year one established 7 off station trials for soybean, 4 off station sites for corn and 2 off station sites for cotton. Long term fertilization trials were also initiated at the DREC to serve as a base for the program. Work conducted in 2012 allowed for a great starting point in the updating process. For cotton, year one trial results were variable, with little response to potash fertilization in all trials that were harvestable. For trials evaluating potash fertilization across multiple varieties, the interaction of variety x fertilization strategy was non-significant. Similar to the interaction, the main effect of potash fertilization strategy was also non-significant only the main effect of cotton variety influenced final cotton yield in the trial. In general, the more aggressively growing, longer season varieties tended to have the greatest lint yields. More specifically, PHY499WRF and ST5458B2F produced similar and greater cotton lint yields when compared with DP0912B2RF For soybean, 2 of 7 seven sites responded positively. Visual responses were noted at the trial location on the Jacks and Tabb farms. The Humphrey's Co. site had a significant response to potash fertilization but not to phosphorus. A significant response was also observed at a testing location near Boyle, MS. More specifically yield increases of 7 and 10 bu/ac were observed for the Boyle and Humphrey's county locations respectively. Both responsive sites had Mehlich-3 and Lancaster soil test K values less than 150 ppm. For Corn, 2 of 4 sites responded positively to potash fertilization. The two responsive sites were on producers fields in Bolivar and Leflore Co. At each site corn yields produced statistically greater yields when potash fertilizer was applied compared to the untreated control. Yield increases of 27 and 73 bu/acre were observed at the Bolivar and Leflore Co. sites, respectively. Lancaster and Mehlich-3 soil test K for the two responsive sites was 150 ppm or lower. At the Leflore site were the largest response occurred soil test K was less than 50 ppm. Soil test correlation to agronomic crop yield takes a wealth of data and 2012 provided a good start. Preliminary work conducted in 2012 generated an indication that with the changing crop rotational mix in Mississippi; soil test recommendations will need to be kept current and revised. Events: Research findings were presented at grower meetings, consultant meetings, field days, and demonstrations. Specific research results were presented at three scientific meetings. PARTICIPANTS: Bobby R. Golden Assistant Research Professor, Principal Investigator Activities: Coordinate all activities within research program. Cooperate with researchers at the Delta Research and Extension Center and the Mississippi State University campus. Procure funding for support of research program. Technology transfer to producers, extension agents, researchers, and industry personnel. Jim Nichols Research Associate Activities: Assist with all facets of research program, i.e., plot establishment, treatment application, data collection/processing/summarization, plot harvest Willie Earl Clark Research Technician Activities: Assist with all facets of research program, i.e., plot establishment, treatment application, data collection/processing/summarization, plot harvest Robert Sullivan Research technician Activities: Assist with all facets of research program, i.e., plot establishment, treatment application, data collection/processing/summarization, plot harvest Collaborators: Dr. Wayne Ebelhar, Research Professor Dr. Larry Oldham, Extension Professor TARGET AUDIENCES: Mississippi Corn, Cotton, and Soybean producers Mississippi Agricultural Consultants' Association Agricultural fertilizer companies and distributors PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Research established to evaluate current soil test criteria are essential in revising and improving current soil test recommendations and fertility programs for Mississippi row crop producers. Current changes in the rotational mix as well as wider adaptation of grain crops that remove greater amounts of nutrients at harvest, has led to many producers needed to modify their long term fertility needs. This research provides unbiased data for fertilizer management strategies for the major row crops produced in Mississippi


  • Golden, B.R., T.W. Walker, and S.L. Linscombe. 2012. Seeding date effects on grain yield stability. Rice Technical Working Group. Feb 27-29. Hot Springs, AR.
  • Golden, B.R, J. Nichols, and L. Oldham. 2012. Corn Response to Environmentally Smart Nitrogen in the Mid South USA. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meetings. Oct 21-24. Cincinnati, OH.
  • Fitts, P.W., Walker, T.W., J.L. Krutz, B.R. Golden, and J.J. Varco. 2012. Nitrogen loss potential by nitrification/denitrification as affected by N-source in rice. In Annual meetings abstracts [CD-ROM]. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI. Southern Branch American Society Agronomy. Birmingham, AL. Feb 5-7, 2012.
  • Fitts, P.W., Walker, T.W., J.L. Krutz, B.R. Golden, and J.J. Varco. 2012. Evaluation of N source on mitigating nitrification/denitrification loss in rice. . In Biannual meetings abstract [CD-ROM]. 34th Rice Technical Working Group. Hot Springs, AR. Feb 27-Mar 1.
  • Gore, J. A. Catchot, D. Dodds, T. Irby, E. Larson, N. Buehring, T. Allen, J. Bond, T. Eubank, T. Walker, J. Krutz. R. Jackson, F. Musser, B. Golden, D. Cook, A. Henn, L. Oldham, and J.M. Riley. 2012. Using social media in IPM research and extension programs. In annual meetings abstract Journal of Insect Science.
  • Oldham, L. and B.R. Golden. 2012. Macro-scale nutrient budgets in Mississippi Delta agronomic crop production. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meetings. Oct 21-24. Cincinnati, OH.
  • Golden, B.R., T.W. Allen, S. Lu., P. Thaxton, G.L. Ssciumbato. 2012. Response of cottons varieties to inoculation with xanthomonas axonopodis pv. Malvacearum in Mississippi. In proceedings of the annual beltwide cotton conference. Orlando, Fl. January 3-6.
  • Golden, B.R., D.M. Dodds,W.E. Clark, N.W. Buering, L. Falconer. M.W. Shankle. T.P. Wallace 2012. Mississippi cotton variety trials 2012. MS. Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull. 461. Starkville, MS.
  • Irby, J.T., T.W. Eubank, and B.R. Golden. 2012. 2013 Soybean variety suggestions. [Online] Available at estions/.
  • Golden, B.R. 2012. 2012 Cotton OVT preliminary data tables. 2012. [Online] Available at ry-data-tables/.
  • Allen, T. and B.R. Golden. 2012 Response of Cotton Varieties to Inoculation with Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. malvacearum in Mississippi. [Online] Available at ies-to-inoculation-with-xanthomonas-axonopodis-pv-malvacearum-in-miss issippi/.
  • Allen, T., B.R. Golden, and D.M. Dodds. 2012. Scouting cotton for bacterial blight. [Online] Available at rial-blight/
  • Golden, B.R. 2012. Zinc deficient corn observed in MS delta. [Online] Available at ved-in-ms-delta/.
  • Golden, B.R. 2012. 2011 Official cotton variety trial booklet correction. [Online] Available at ety-trial-booklet-correction/
  • Golden, B.R. 2012. Using Environmentally Smart Nitrogen Page 8-9 in Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center 2012 Annual Report. Stoneville, MS: Delta Research and Extension Center. [Online]. Available at
  • Fitts, P.W., T.W. Walker, B.R. Golden, J.L. Corbin, and L.J. Krutz. 2012.Evaluation of nitrogen source on mitigating nitrification/denitrification loss in rice. Page 22 in Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center 2012 Annual Report. Stoneville, MS: Delta Research and Extension Center. [Online]. Available at
  • Larson, E., B.R. Golden, and L. Oldham. 2012. Burning Stalks, What does it really cost [Online] Available at it-really-cost/
  • Allen, T., B.R. Golden, and D.M. Dodds. 2012. Bacterial blight of cotton update: July 13, 2012. [Online] Available at n-update-july-13-2012/
  • Golden, B.R. 2012. Soybean Inoculant Research. Page 26-27 in Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center 2012 Annual Report. Stoneville, MS: Delta Research and Extension Center. [Online]. Available at
  • Golden, B.R., M. W. Ebelhar, and L. Oldham. 2012. Evaluation of Polymer Coated Urea as an Alternative N Source for Cotton. Southern Branch ASA. Feb. 5-7. Birmingham, AL.