A 3-year field experiment was conducted with liquid dairy manure to determine the effects of application rate (80 and 160 m3 ha−1), application timing (fall and spring), injector spacing (0·48 and 0·96 m) and injector type (chisel and sweep) on corn (Zea mays L.) silage yield and nitrogen (N) recovery. Harvested N was increased over control plots by chisel injection, narrow injector spacing, spring manure applications, and the high rate of manure application. Silage yield was adversely affected by drought which occurred in the last 2 years of the experiment. Several main factors increased the quantity of N that was not recovered in harvested N or inorganic N in the 0–30 cm layer of soil: chisel > sweep (17%); high > low application rate (109%). Fall application at the low rate generally resulted in lower yield than did 168 kg N ha−1 applied as commercial fertilizer in the spring. There was no significant difference in silage N content between treatments receiving either manure or commercial N fertilizer. Manurial N concentration combined with application rate was determined to have more influence on silage yield than application timing or injector spacing or type.