On-farm estimation of indigenous nitrogen supply for site-specific nitrogen management in the North China plain

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

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Estimating indigenous nitrogen supply (INS) by measurement of crop N uptake in N omission plots for site-specific N management is not feasible on a routine basis because it involves destructive plant sampling and plant tissue analysis, which is time-consuming and expensive. The objective of this study was to determine the amount of INS and develop a method to estimate it using soil testing in the North China plain (NCP). On-farm experiments at 229 sites were conducted from 2003 to 2005 in seven key winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/summer maize (Zea mays L.) production regions of the NCP. The mean INS during the wheat-growing season was129 kg N ha-1 with a range from 62 to 212 kg N ha-1, and it varied from 69 to 202 kg N ha-1 with a mean of 142 kg N ha-1 during the maize-growing season. Considering all sites, the variability of INS was not simulated by initial soil Nmin or apparent N mineralization (Norganic) alone, while together they could explain about 38% and 60% of INS during the wheat and maize-growing seasons, respectively. During the wheat-growing season, mean Norganic was 63 kg N ha-1, and 59% and 33% of its variation could be explained by SOM in high-yielding regions (mean yield, 7.6 t ha-1) and low-yielding regions (mean yield, 5.3 t ha-1), respectively. Mean Norganic during the maize-growing season was 109 kg N ha-1, 22% of which could be explained by SOM across all sites. An average of 40% and 42% of INS variation could be explained by both SOM and initial soil Nmin content during the wheat and maize-growing seasons, respectively. We conclude that the accuracy of estimating crop N requirement for site-specific N management will be increased by using initial soil N min and SOM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30390084; 30700478) and the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT0511) for their financial support.

Keywords

  • Apparent N mineralization
  • Indigenous nitrogen supply
  • Soil N supply
  • Soil organic matter

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