Alotaibi, K. D. and Schoenau, J. J. 2014. Comparison of amendment with distillers' grain versus urea on crop yield and nutrient uptake in a canola-wheat rotation in southern Saskatchewan. Can. J. Plant Sci. 94: 1513-1517. A surplus of distillers' grain resulting from rapid expansion in biofuel production has led to interest in finding alternative uses for this co-product, apart from its traditional use as an animal feed. Land application to agricultural soil in order to recycle the nutrients is one potential use. In this study we evaluated the effect of a single application of wet wheat distillers' grain (WDG) on crop yield and nitrogen and phosphorus uptake in a 3-yr canola-wheat-canola rotation in southern Saskatchewan. The experimental treatments included a single application of WDG at a rate of 100 kg N ha-1 in comparison to urea applied at the same rate of N along with an unfertilized control. In the first year, WDG produced a canola yield of 1266 kg ha-1, which was significantly greater than the urea treatment. The WDG treatment resulted in increased plant N uptake that was 59% greater than the control, but was 20% less than that observed in the urea treatment, indicating that only a portion of the applied N in the WDG was available for recovery. Greater yield of WDG may be due to factors other than N. Both WDG and urea treatments had a significant effect on plant P uptake in the first year. The residual effect of WDG addition on crop parameters in the second and third years was mainly limited to enhancement of plant P uptake in second year. Overall, the WDG applied at the same rate of N was at least as effective as urea for increasing crop yield.
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