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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Developing Sustainable Cropping Systems to Improve Water Productivity and Protect Water and Soil Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Nitrogen use efficiency in a wheat-corn cropping system from 15 years of manure and fertilizer applications

item Duan, Yinghua
item Xu, Minggang
item Gao, Suduan
item Yang, Xueyen
item Huang, Shaomin
item Liu, Hongbin
item Wang, Bairen

Submitted to: Field Crops Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/6/2014
Publication Date: 2/1/2014
Citation: Duan, Y., Xu, M., Gao, S., Yang, X., Huang, S., Liu, H., Wang, B. 2014. Nitrogen use efficiency in a wheat-corn cropping system from 15 years of manure and fertilizer applications. Field Crops Research. 157:47-56.

Interpretive Summary: High inputs of chemical nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture have resulted in serious environmental degradation such as eutrophication, groundwater pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Long-term field experiments were conducted between 1991-2005 and determined the benefits of applying manure and sufficient phosphorus supply for improvement of crop yield and nitrogen use efficiency in a wheat-corn cropping system. Manure applications consistently gave higher crop production than chemical fertilization only and this effects was more profound in an acid soil than alkaline soils. The findings assist in development of effective nutrient management strategies for sustainable crop production.

Technical Abstract: Low nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and adverse environmental impacts caused by N fertilization increasingly threaten the sustainability of agriculture. To develop strategies for efficient nutrient management, we investigated the effects of long-term (1991-2005) various fertilization regimes on yield, NUE and N agronomic efficiency (NAE) in a wheat-corn cropping system at four sites (Changping, Zhengzhou, Yangling, and Qiyang) in China. Treatments included unfertilized control (CK), chemical fertilization only (N, NP, NK, and NPK), manure application (supplying 70% N) with NPK (NPKm) and at 1.5× rate (1.5NPKm), and NPK with corn stover returned (NPKs). The NP and NPK treatments resulted in generally higher yield, NUE and NAE than the N and NK for both wheat and corn demonstrating the importance of P in NUE improvement. The manure treatments resulted in significant increase or no decrease in the overall system NUE in all four sites with the highest mean NUE (49%) from NPKm treatment. In acid soil at Qiyang, only manure treatments resulted in significant increases of NUE and NAE indicating the importance of organic amendment. Wheat was more responsive to P fertilizer and corn was more responsive to manure in NUE improvement. Thus an effective nutrient management strategy is to ensure adequate P supply for the wheat crop and manure application for the corn crop to improve overall NUE for the wheat-corn production system.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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