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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Water Management and Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357576

Research Project: Advancing Water Management and Conservation in Irrigated Arid Lands

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

Title: Nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation effects on seed yield and oil in camelina

Author
item Bronson, Kevin
item Hunsaker, Douglas - Doug
item Thorp, Kelly

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2019
Publication Date: 4/18/2019
Citation: Bronson, K.F., Hunsaker, D.J., Thorp, K.R. 2019. Nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation effects on seed yield and oil in camelina. Agronomy Journal. 111(4):1712-1719. https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2018.10.0644.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2018.10.0644

Interpretive Summary: Interest in the production of camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) for biofuel feedstock has been growing, including for arid and semiarid regions. A two-year field study was conducted in Maricopa, AZ under a linear-move overhead sprinkler system to assess the effect of 10 water levels and five N (nitrogen) fertilizer rates (38 to 150 kg N ha-1) on seed yield, seed oil, and N use efficiency. Camelina cultivar ‘Robinson’ was planted in December of 2012 and 2013. Nitrogen fertilizer as urea ammonium nitrate was applied in three split applications with a high clearance tractor. Irrigation amounts were from 125 to 380 mm, and in-season rain was 70 and 50 mm in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, respectively. Camelina seed yields were maximum at water level 7 in (93 % base irrigation) 2013 at 1800 kg ha-1. Maximum seed yields were 1500 kg ha-1 at water level 6 (83 % of base irrigation) in 2014, which had a warmer winter than 2013. In 2013, seed yield responded to N rate at water level 3 (63 % of base irrigation) and above. In 2014, the optimal N rate was 113 kg N ha-1 at all irrigation levels. Oil content (maximum at 40%) decreased with N rate but increased with water level. Seed N increased with N rate but decreased with irrigation level. Percent recovery of N fertilizer by camelina ranged from 12% to 72% for the highest and lowest N rates, respectively. The results indicate that reasonable camelina seed yields can be produced in the Southwest US with modest N and irrigation inputs.

Technical Abstract: Interest is growing in camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) for biofuel feedstock. However, there has been little research in irrigated arid systems. A two-year field study in Maricopa, Arizona under an overhead sprinkler irrigation system determined the effects of 10 water levels (irrigation fraction 0.5 to 1.1) and five N (nitrogen) fertilizer rates (38 to 150 kg N ha-1) on seed yield, seed oil, and N use efficiency. Cultivar ‘Robinson’ was planted in December, 2012 and 2013. Nitrogen fertilizer (urea ammonium nitrate) was applied in three split applications. Irrigation amounts were from 125 to 380 mm, and in-season rain was 70 and 50 mm. Camelina seed yields were maximum at water level 7 (irrigation fraction 0.93) in 2013 at 1800 kg ha-1. Maximum seed yields were 1500 kg ha-1 at water level 6 (irrigation fraction 0.83) in 2014, which was a warmer season than 2013. In 2013, seed yield was highest at 150 kg N ha-1 at water levels above level 3 (irrigation fraction 0.61). In 2014, the optimal N rate was 113 kg N ha-1 at all irrigation levels. Oil content (maximum 40%) decreased with N rate but increased with water level. Seed N increased with N rate but decreased with irrigation level. Recovery efficiency of N fertilizer by camelina ranged from 12% to 72%. The results indicate that good high-oil camelina yields can be produced in the Southwest US with 320 to 380 mm irrigation plus rain and N fertilizer rates of 113 to 150 kg N ha-1.