Controlled subsurface drainage irrigation systems have been designed to promote agronomic production by optimizing water availability. In a previous manuscript we described the design of a 40 ha controlled subsurface drainage irrigation system, the soil resource and indicated the soil water properties. In this manuscript we describe the performance of corn (Zea mays L.) using a controlled subsurface drainage/irrigation system, with a focus on nutrient uptake at black layer formation. In a subsequent manuscript we will describe nutrient concentrations from tile drain effluents and note their potential impact on surface water resources. Crop yields using the controlled subsurface drainage/irrigation system substantially increased grain yields in 2008, 2011 and 2012 relative to previous corn production prior to the installation of the controlled subsurface drainage/irrigation system. Nutrient uptake (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, B, Cu, and Zn) was partitioned into leaf blades (blades), leaf sheaths (sheaths), culm (stem), tassel, ear leaves, shank, cob and grain. Nutrient concentrations in plant parts were estimated using plant tissue analysis, plant populations and dry matter production and expressed on a field basis (kg ha−1). The nutrient uptake by plant part at black layer showed that N, P, and S were more than 50% vested with grain. The remaining nutrients were primarily associated with the non-grain plant parts, especially K, Ca and B.

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