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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337150

Title: Nitrogen mobility, ammonia volatilization, and estimated leaching loss from long-term manure incorporation in red soil

item HUANG, JING - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item DUAN, YING-HUA - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item XU, MING-GANG - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item ZHAI, LI-MEI - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item ZHANG, XU-BO - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item WANG, BO-REN - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item ZHANG, YANG-ZHU - Hunan Agricultural University
item Gao, Suduan
item SUN, NAN - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences

Submitted to: Journal of Integrative Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2016
Publication Date: 1/18/2017
Citation: Huang, J., Duan, Y., Xu, M., Zhai, L., Zhang, X., Wang, B., Zhang, Y., Gao, S., Sun, N. 2017. Nitrogen mobility, ammonia volatilization, and estimated leaching loss from long-term manure incorporation in red soil. Journal of Integrative Agriculture. doi:10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61498-3.

Interpretive Summary: Intensive chemical nitrogen (N) fertilization has resulted in a number of environmental issues including groundwater contamination from nitrate leaching, but there has been a challenge in quantifying the leaching loss in agronomic cropping systems. This research used a mass balance approach and estimated the potential N leaching loss in a wheat-maize cropping system in an acidic or red soil based on field measurements on plant uptake, soil N storage change, and gaseous losses. The results indicated that manure incorporation, which provided 70% of total N in fertilization regime, potentially reduced the leaching loss by >90% as compared to those from chemical fertilizers only. This research confirmed the multiple benefits of incorporating manure in N fertilization management by increasing plant N uptake and soil N storage while reducing leaching in the red soil dryland cropping system.

Technical Abstract: Nitrogen (N) loss from fertilization in agricultural fields has an unavoidable negative impact on the environment, and a better understanding of the major pathways can assist in developing best management practices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fate of N fertilizers applied to acidic red soil (Ferralic Cambisol) after 19 years of different mineral (synthetic) and manure fertilization treatments under a cropping system with wheat-maize rotations. Five field treatments were examined: control (CK), mineral fertilizer combinations of NK, NP or NPK, and the NPK with manure (NPKM, 70% N from manure). Using the soil total N changes in 0-100 cm depth, plant uptake, ammonia (NH3) volatilization, and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission data measured in the field, a mass balance approach was used and potential N leaching loss was estimated. In contrast to the NPKM, all mineral fertilizer treatments (NK, NP and NPK) showed nitrate (NO3-) concentration increased with greater soil depth indicating higher leaching potential. However, total NH3 volatilization loss was much higher from the NPKM (19.7%) than other mineral fertilizer treatments (=4.2%). The N2O emissions were generally low (0.2-0.9%, highest from the NPKM). Total gaseous loss accounted for 1.7, 3.3, 5.1, and 21.9% for NK, NP, NPK, and NPKM treatments, respectively. Estimated N leaching loss from the NPKM was only 5% of those from mineral fertilizer treatments. All data demonstrated that manure incorporation improved soil productivity, increased yield, and reduced potential leaching, but with significantly higher NH3 volatilization, which could be reduced by improving application method. This research confirms that manure incorporation is an essential strategy in N fertilization management in dryland red soil cropping system.