Utility of Dried Distillers Grain as a Fertilizer Source for Corn

Kelly A. Nelson, Peter P. Motavalli, Randall L. Smoot


Increased ethanol production may result in excessive dried distillers grains (DDGs) that could be utilized as a fertilizer
source for corn (Zea mays L.). Research was conducted to evaluate the effects of 1) DDG rates on weed suppression,
changes in soil properties, and differences in grain yield and quality and 2) DDGs, polymer-coated urea (PCU), and
anhydrous ammonia (AA) fertilizer sources on grain yield and quality. DDGs had a total N-P-K composition of
38.2-6.9-11.5 g kg-1, respectively. There was no corn injury, common cocklebur or jimsonweed control with DDG rates
up to 3600 kg ha-1. Corn grain yield increased 1.41 and 1.56 kg ha-1 for every kg ha-1 of DDGs applied in medium and
high yield environments, respectively. Grain yield was ranked non-treated control < DDGs < AA = PCU when
fertilizers were applied at N equivalent rate of 140 kg ha-1 in medium and high yield environments.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jas.v1n1p3

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