Decomposition and Nitrogen mineralization of Individual and Mixed Maize and Soybean Residue

Almaz Meseret Gezahegn, Ridzwan Abd Halim, Martini Mohammad Yusoff, Samsuri Abd Wahid


An increased knowledge of crop residue decomposition and nutrient release pattern is a critical component for nutrient cycling in low-input production systems.  An incubation laboratory experiment was carried out to determine decomposition rate and N mineralization of individual and mixed maize and soybean residue.  The experiment was carried out in randomized complete design (CBD) with three replications.  The treatments consisted of maize, soybean and maize + soybean residue and control (without residue). The result showed that the C mineralization was significantly greater in crop residue amended soils compared to that of control (unamended) soil.  The rate of decomposition of crop residue was highly influenced by the C:N ratio and the composition of the cell wall particularly the lignin content. The residues containing soybean had a faster rate of decomposition and released higher N compared to maize residues. At the end of the incubation study, the percentage of the added C decomposition was as follows: Soybean residue (66%) > mixture of maize and soybean residue (56%) > maize residue (46%). Net N mineralization in soils were occurred with soybean (7.4 to 98.4 mg/kg soil) and maize + soybean residue (4.7 to 67.9 mg/kg soil) throughout the study, whereas maize residue was characterized by N immobilization (-10.75 to -3.69 mg/kg soil) until 60 days. Therefore, it can be conclude that residue containing soybean can be a potential sources of mineral N. 

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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