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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #296550

Title: Nutrient use efficiency in plants: an overview

item Baligar, Virupax
item FAGERIA, N - Embrapa

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2013
Publication Date: 12/30/2014
Citation: Baligar, V.C., Fageria, N.K. 2014. Nutrient use efficiency in plants: An overview. In: Rakshit, A., Singh, H.B., Sen, A., editors. Nutrient Use Efficiency: from Basics to Advances. New Delhi, India, Springer Publications. p. 1-14.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In modern agriculture use of essential plant nutrients in crop production is very important to increase productivity and maintain sustainability of the cropping system. Use of nutrients in crop production is influenced by climatic, soil, plant and social-economical condition of the farmers. Overall, nutrient use efficiency by crop plants is lower than 50% under all agro-ecological conditions. Hence, large part of the applied nutrients is lost in the soil-plant system. The lower nutrient use efficiency is related to loss and/or unavailability due to many environmental factors. The low nutrient use efficiency is not only increase cost of crop production but also responsible for environmental pollution. Nutrient use efficiency in the literature is defined in several ways. The most common nutrient use efficiency is designated as nutrient efficiency ratio, agronomic efficiency, physiological efficiency, agro-physiological efficiency, apparent recovery efficiency and utilization efficiency. Definition and methods of calculation these deficiencies are presented. Improving nutrient use efficiency is essential from economic and environmental point of view. The most important strategies to improve nutrient use efficiency are use of adequate rate, effective source, timing and methods of application. In addition, decreasing abiotic and biotic stresses and use of nutrient efficient crop species and genotypes within species are also important in increasing nutrient use efficiency.