Congreves, K. A., Voroney, R. P., O'Halloran, I. P. and Van Eerd, L. L. 2013. Broccoli residue-derived nitrogen immobilization following amendments of organic carbon: An incubation study. Can. J. Soil Sci. 93: 23-31. Cole crops, compared with many other crops, can pose a high risk of N losses after harvest due to substantial quantities of readily mineralizable N in crop residues. Organic C amendments (OCA) may reduce N losses via immobilization; however, the synchrony of OCA decomposition and cole crop residue N mineralization is crucial. A soil incubation study evaluated net N and C mineralization of broccoli residue-derived N or fertilizer-derived N with three OCAs: wheat straw, yard waste, or used cooking oil, to predict N immobilization and the potential to mitigate post-harvest N losses. By the 56th d of incubation, broccoli residue mineralized 67.0 mg N kg-1. In the broccoli residue-derived N treatments, wheat straw, yard waste, and used cooking oil significantly reduced the quantity of net N mineralization by 16.9, 12.3, and 86.0 mg N kg-1, respectively. The net N mineralization data were fitted to a first-order exponential model, and the overall trend of OCA was negative, indicating immobilization, whether N was derived from broccoli residue or fertilizer. The order of effect from OCAs on N immobilization corresponded to the order of effect on net C mineralization, where wheat straw and yard waste were lower than used cooking oil. In broccoli residue treatments, compared with fertilizer, higher N immobilization occurred for used cooking oil, and higher net C mineralization occurred for used cooking oil and yard waste. The higher N immobilization and net C mineralization suggest that broccoli residue produced a synergistic effect on the decomposition of used cooking oil. Additionally, both broccoli residue and used cooking oil treatments had synchronous peaks of net C mineralization at 4 d. This study provides evidence to warrant field studies to confirm that the application of organic C, especially used cooking oil, after cole crop harvest may be a beneficial management practice to minimize soil N losses.
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