Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2011
Publication Date: 8/31/2011
Citation: Duan, Y., M. Xu, B. Wang, X. Yang, S. Huang, and S. Gao. 2011. Long-term evaluation of manure application on maize yield and nitrogen use efficiency in China. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 75:1562-1573. Interpretive Summary: Overuse of nitrogen fertilizers in crop production has led to groundwater contamination and the risk of sustainability in agriculture. This research determined the effects of various fertilization regimes including chemical fertilizers and manure applications from long-term field experiments conducted in China. Maize yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) were examined from application of chemical fertilizers and manure applications. Manure application and chemical fertilization at a ratio of 70:30 N supply provided more stable and higher yield and improved NUE than chemical fertilization treatments only. Phosphorous was also identified as a limiting factor in NUE improvement. Higher NUEs (up to 70%) were observed from continuous manure applications. This research determined that manure application can be the most effective to provide soil nutrients and improve NUEs, and may have implications in other agricultural regions.
Technical Abstract: Improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and reducing the negative impact of N fertilization on the environment are essential for sustaining agricultural production in many intensive farming regions around the world. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of various fertilization regimes on yield, N uptake, and NUE by maize (Zea mays L.) in long-term (15 year) experiments carried out at four sites (Changping, Zhengzhou, Yangling and Qiyang) in China. Eight treatments were examined: non-fertilization (CK), inorganic fertilizer (manufactured source) N, NP, NK, NPK, and NPK with manure (NPKM), 1.5× rate of NPKM (1.5NPKM) and NPK with maize stover returned (NPKS). Compared with inorganic fertilization, mixed inorganic and manure fertilization (NPKM and 1.5NPKM) resulted in more stable and significantly higher yield and NUE as well as increases in soil nutrient storage at all sites with the most significant improvement in the acid soil (pH=5.7) at Qiyang. Phosphorous was identified as one of the most important limiting factors in maize NUE because the NUE in all four sites increased from about 20% to 45% by increasing the available P in soil. Higher NUEs (up to 70%) were observed mostly from the continuous manure applications. We conclude that manure and P applications are the most important and effective nutrient management strategies for both the acid and alkaline soils in this study for maize production in China.