Nitrogen use efficiency and recovery in a wheat-corn rotation under tropical savannah conditions

Fernando Shintate Galindo, Edson Cabral da Silva, Paulo Humberto Pagliari, Guilherme Carlos Fernandes, Willian Lima Rodrigues, Antônio Leonardo Campos Biagini, Eduardo Bianchi Baratella, Castro Alves da Silva Júnior, Mário João Moretti Neto, Takashi Muraoka, Marcelo Carvalho Minhoto Teixeira Filho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Stable isotopes (e.g., 15N) can be used to develop best practices for fertilizer management in cereal crops under tropical conditions. The objectives of this study were to determine the N contribution from fertilizer and soil to wheat and corn grown in rotation and the residual N contribution from fertilizer applied to wheat and carried over to corn under Brazilian savannah conditions. This study was established in a no-till system on Rhodic Haplustox soil in a randomized complete block design with four replications. The N treatments applied to the wheat crops were 0, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 160 kg (urea-15N) ha−1. The residual effects of N on the succeeding corn crop were evaluated. During the corn phase, two additional treatments were included: a control (0 N) and a treatment with 160 kg N ha−1. Regression analysis showed that the highest estimated wheat yield (5415 kg ha−1) was observed with the application of 114 kg N ha−1. Significant effects from the residual N were observed in the corn shoot biomass and straw N uptake. On average, the recovery rate of the urea N fertilizer was 34% for wheat, and the residual urea N fertilizer use in corn (when applied to wheat) was less than 5% of the amount initially applied. The effect of the residual N was not enough to meet the N demands of the succeeding corn crop. The results of this study provide producers and the scientific community with good estimates of nitrogen use efficiency for wheat and corn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-305
Number of pages15
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo), Grant Number 2018/08485-7, and CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), Award Number 312359/2017-9.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature.


  • Efficiency of nitrogen fertilization
  • Nitrogen-15
  • Residual effect of N
  • Triticum aestivum L
  • Zea mays L


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