Increased use of chemical nitrogen fertilizers (N) in agricultural production continues to raise concerns, because of the risk of surplus N leaving the plant-soil system and thereby causing environmental contamination. Therefore, decreasing nitrate leaching from crop production fields, such as in corn fields, is of considerable importance. Against this backdrop, a field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of pelleted fertilizer, produced by mixing urea and dry cow dung manure, on corn yield and its components. The study was carried out, during the 2009 corn-growing season, at the experimental farm of College of Abouraihan, University of Tehran in Iran. The factorial design of the study comprised of randomized complete block with three replications. Factors this experiment involved: first factor was two levels of fertilizer application method which include pellet and mixed with soil, and second factor was four levels of nitrogen fertilizer pulse dry cow dung (46+600, 92+600, 138+600 and 184+600 kg/ha). The biological yield, grain yield, number of grains per ear, grain weight, harvest index, and grain protein content was calculated. Treatment T8 (184+600 kg/ha pelleted fertilizer) significantly produced better harvest index, highest 1000 grain weight, the maximum biological yield, the maximum grain yield and highest grain protein content per hectare. The use of pelleted fertilizer is therefore a better alternative to uncoated nitrogen fertilizer due to its slow and continuous nutrient release for plant uptake at different stages of its growth.
Key words: Biological yield, dry cow dung, urea, grain protein content, corn, grain yield.
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