Can foliar urea reduce nitrogen losses from potato production in Atlantic Canada?


01 Sep 2014

Brief Project Description

Description of Activity and Deliverables: This activity in the proposed 4R Nutrient Stewardship Research Network project focuses on a major horticultural crop for Canada and Maritime Canada, potato. Potato is a unique cropping system prone to major N losses because of high N application rates, coarse soil and humid conditions. The project aims to manage the availability of nitrate for better crop uptake and reduction in nitrous oxide emissions and leaching.

  1. To develop a potato nitrogen demand function to allow the examination of the synchrony between soil N supply and plant N demand as influenced by climate.
  2. To evaluate the use of nitrate exposure (NE) and anion exchange membranes (IEMs) for assessing the potential for N loss.
  3. To evaluate whether in-season foliar urea (Right Product, Right Time, Right Place) in combination with reduced N fertilizer rates (Right Rate) at planting is an effective BMP for sustaining potato yields and reducing nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and nitrate (NO3-) leaching.
  4. To demonstrate the value of split N applications in decreasing N2O emissions.
  5. To disseminate findings to producers.

  • Develop a Plant N demand function for potato N uptake as influenced by climate.
  • Assessment of ion exchange membranes for estimating nitrate exposure.
  • Practical system for measuring the potential for N loss from potato production systems.
  • Assessment of the potential for in-season application of foliar urea in combination with reduced N fertilization at planting is a BMP for reducing N2O emissions.
  • Demonstration of the practicality of split application of N as BMP for reducing N2O emissions.
  • Provide information on N management BMP for potato production in Atlantic Canada for use in the support systems in this project.