On-farm evaluation of an in-season nitrogen management strategy based on soil Nmin test

Zhenling Cui, Fusuo Zhang, Xinping Chen, Yuxin Miao, Junliang Li, Liwei Shi, Jiufei Xu, Youliang Ye, Chunsheng Liu, Zhiping Yang, Qiang zhang, Shaomin Huang, Dejun Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations

Abstract

Successful nitrogen (N) management requires better synchronization between crop N demand and N supply from all sources throughout crop growing season. An in-season N management strategy based on soil Nmin test had been developed under experimental conditions, and more than half-N fertilizer could be saved without grain yield losses, compared with farmer's N management practices. The objective of this study was to evaluate this in-season N management strategy for winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in different farmers' fields of North China Plain (NCP). A total of 121 on-farm N-response experiments (check with no N fertilizer, in-season N management based on soil Nmin test, and farmer's practice) were conducted in seven key winter wheat production regions of NCP from 2003 to 2005. The average N rate determined with in-season N management strategy (128 kg N ha-1) was significantly lower than farmer's practice (325 kg N ha-1) without wheat grain yield losses. As a result, in-season N management strategy significantly increased economic gains by $144 ha-1, reduced residual nitrate-N content in the top 90 cm soil layer and N losses by 81 and 118 kg N ha-1, respectively (P < 0.05). Recovery N efficiency (REN), agronomic N use efficiency (AEN) and N partial factor productivity (PFPN) were significantly improved to 44%, 11 and 56 kg kg-1, respectively, compared with farmer's N practice (REN, 18%; AEN, 3 kg kg-1; PFPN, 20 kg kg-1). Effective use of soil N supply and better synchronization between crop N demand and supply were main reasons for the increased N use efficiency. We conclude that the in-season N management strategy based on soil Nmin test can be applied for winter wheat production in NCP for improved N use efficiency and reduced environmental contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalField Crops Research
Volume105
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • In-season N management
  • N balance
  • N losses
  • N use efficiency
  • Soil N test

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