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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE CROPPING SYSTEMS FOR IRRIGATED SPECIALTY CROPS AND BIOFUELS Title: Enhancing nitrogen use efficiency of cereal crops by optimizing temperature, moisture, balanced nutrients, and oxygen bioavailability

Authors
item Liu, Guodong -
item Li, Yuncong -
item Alva, Ashok
item Porterfield, David -
item Dunlop, James -

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2009
Publication Date: January 27, 2012
Citation: Liu, G., Li, Y., Alva, A.K., Porterfield, D.M., Dunlop, J. 2012. Enhancing nitrogen use efficiency of cereal crops by optimizing temperature, moisture, balanced nutrients, and oxygen bioavailability. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 35:428-441.

Interpretive Summary: Decreasing the loss of nutrients in a given production system contributes to increased nutrient uptake efficiency, thus increased net returns per unit investment. Furthermore, with respect to N, decreasing ammonia volatilization loss is important to minimize air quality impacts. This study has shown that volatilization loss of ammonia from N fertilizers can be reduced at adequate soil moisture, i.e. 80% field capacity, as compared to that at moisture deficit conditions, i.e. 20% field capacity. In another study, N uptake efficiency by wheat was greater in a balanced complete nutrient solution than that of wheat grown in a phosphorus deficient nutrient solution. In summary, adequate soil water control and balanced complete nutrient availability are important to optimize nutrient uptake efficiency by minimizing nutrient losses.

Technical Abstract: Enhancement of nutrient use efficiency is imperative for increasing economic returns and reduction of environmental pollution caused by fertilization in crop production systems. In this paper, we have demonstrated at a given soil temperature and nitrogen (N) rate, N loss via ammonia (NH3) emission for at 80% field capacity (FC) soil water regime was decreased by 58 to 81% compared to that at 20% FC, in two soils. In another study, N uptake by flooded corn (genotype: FR27 × FRMO17) seedlings with oxygen fertilization was 8-fold greater than that without oxygen fertilization. Nitrogen utilization efficiency of wheat (cv. Yanzhong 144) seedlings grown in complete nutrient solution was 10-fold greater than that of the seedlings under low-phosphorus stress. These results demonstrate that each of appropriate soil water management, oxygen fertilization, and supply of well-balanced nutrients significantly enhanced N uptake and utilization efficiencies of corn and wheat, in turn minimize N loss.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014