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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluating Nitrogen and Water Management of a Double Cropping System in China

Authors
item Hu, C - CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENC
item Saseendran, S - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Green, Timothy
item Ma, Liwang
item Li, X - CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENC
item Ahuja, Lajpat

Submitted to: Vadose Zone Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 25, 2005
Publication Date: March 8, 2006
Citation: Hu, C., Saseendran, S.A., Green, T.R., Ma, L., Li, X., Ahuja, L.R. 2006. Evaluating nitrogen and water management of a double cropping system in china. Vadose Zone Journal. 5:493-505.2006.

Interpretive Summary: Simulation of water and nutrient processes can enhance intensive agriculture to help feed the world’s population in a sustainable manner. Due to excessive nitrogen (N) application, environmental protection and agricultural sustainability have become major issues in agriculture. In this study, we calibrated and tested the RZWQM model to assess N management in a double-cropping system comprised of winter wheat and corn at Luancheng, North China Plain. Data from 2001 to 2003 field trials applying 200-800 kg N ha-1 yr-1 over five cropping seasons were used. In general, soil water and grain yields were predicted better than biomass, plant N uptake, and soil residual N. Once tested and used to improve the understanding of N processes in this cropping system, the model was further used to evaluate the effects of alternative water and N management scenarios on N leaching. Typical application rates of both water and N could be reduced by about half based on these results, which would have high economic, social and environmental impacts in China.

Technical Abstract: Simulation of water and nutrient processes can enhance intensive agriculture to help feed the world’s population in a sustainable manner. Due to excessive nitrogen (N) application, environmental protection and agricultural sustainability have become major issues in agriculture. In this study, we calibrated and tested the RZWQM model to assess N management in a double-cropping system comprised of winter wheat and corn at Luancheng, North China Plain. Data from 2001 to 2003 field trials applying 200-800 kg N ha-1 yr-1 over five cropping seasons that included biomass, grain yield, soil water, and soil-crop N were used. In general, soil water and grain yields were predicted better than biomass, plant N uptake, and soil residual N. RMSEs of soil water content predictions in different soil layers ranged from 0.026 to 0.064 m3 m-3. RMSEs of grain yield predictions were between 426 and 676 kg ha-1 with relative errors (RE) between -22 and 7%. RE values of residual soil N predictions were between -13.6 and 28.7%. Biomass predictions were least accurate with REs ranging between -21 and 51%. Once tested and used to improve the understanding of N processes in this cropping system, the model was further used to evaluate the effects of alternative water and N management scenarios on N leaching. Typical application rates of both water and N could be reduced by about half based on these results, which would have high economic, social and environmental impacts in China. The results also demonstrate the potential of RZWQM for evaluating N and water management practices in other regions and climates of the world with intensive agriculture.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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