Advertisement

Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 115, Issue 3, pp 313–329 | Cite as

Integrated N management improves nitrogen use efficiency and economics in a winter wheat–summer maize multiple-cropping system

  • Haiyan Liang
  • Xueling Zhang
  • Juan Han
  • Yuncheng Liao
  • Yang LiuEmail author
  • Xiaoxia WenEmail author
Original Article
  • 183 Downloads

Abstract

Indiscriminate use of nitrogen (N) fertilizer is a serious issue throughout China, which negatively affects the food security and the environment. Therefore, it is vitally important to establish an annual optimal fertilization strategy. In this study, we conducted a 2-year field experiment (2015–2017), which examined the effects of conventional N application practice (annual N application rate of 510 kg ha−1, urea used as two-split fertilization of wheat and maize, respectively, N1) and four optimized N treatments with reduced N rates (annual N application rate of 420 kg ha−1, N2), reduced application times and used SRF at jointing stage of maize (N3), used fertilizer mixture at jointing stage of maize (N4) and fertilizer mixture used at jointing stage of wheat and maize (N5), respectively. The results indicated that the optimized fertilization treatments did not reduce wheat or maize yield. The annual N-agronomic efficiency (NAE) of the optimized fertilization treatments increased by 6.75–27.59% and 2.53–39.87% in 2016 and 2017, respectively, compared with the N1 treatment. The N-uptake efficiency, N-fertilizer productivity, and NAE of the optimized fertilization treatments were higher than N1 treatment, particularly for treatments with a mixture of urea and slow-release fertilizer. The N-translocation efficiency and N-harvest index were not significantly affected. Furthermore, economic analysis showed that the annual net revenue increased by 12.2–18.7% and 10.7–46.5% in 2016 and 2017, respectively, compared with the N1 treatment. These results indicate that an appropriate reduction of N application dosage and combination of slow-release fertilizers and urea improve the NAE and stabilize crop yield, thereby decreasing the input costs and enhancing economic benefits. This optimal management might represent an alternative for wheat–maize production in northern China in terms of annual nitrogen management and profitability.

Keywords

Wheat–maize multiple-cropping system Grain yield Nitrogen-use efficiency Optimal nitrogen management 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was financially supported by Special Project for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (201503121-09), Shaanxi Province Key Research and Development Plan (2018ZDXM–NY-002).

References

  1. Abbasi MK, Tahir MM (2012) Economizing nitrogen fertilizer in wheat through combinations with organic manures in Kashmir, Pakistan. Agron J 104:169–177Google Scholar
  2. Abbasi MK, Tahir MM, Sadiq A, Iqbal M, Zafar M (2012) Yield and nitrogen use efficiency of rainfed maize response to splitting and nitrogen rates in Kashmir, Pakistan. Agron J 104:448Google Scholar
  3. Abbasi MK, Tahir MM, Rahim N (2013) Effect of N fertilizer source and timing on yield and N use efficiency of rainfed maize (Zea mays L.) in Kashmir–Pakistan. Geoderma 195–196:87–93Google Scholar
  4. Ahmad S, Ali H, Farooq U, Khan SU, Rehman AU, Sarwar N, Shahzad AN, Dogan H, Hussain S, Sultan MT, Waheed A, Zia-Ul-Haq M, Hussain K, Khan MA (2016) Improving nitrogen-use and radiation-use efficiencies of C-4 summer cereals by split nitrogen applications under an irrigated arid environment. Turk J Agric For 40:280–289Google Scholar
  5. Alijani K, Bahrani MJ, Kazemeini SA (2012) Short-term responses of soil and wheat yield to tillage, corn residue management and nitrogen fertilization. Soil Till Res 124:78–82Google Scholar
  6. Bremner JM, Mulvaney CS (1982) Nitrogen-total. In: Methods of soil analysis. Agron. No. 9, Part 2: Chemical and microbiological properties (2nd ed). American Society of Agronomy. pp 595–624. Madison, WI, USAGoogle Scholar
  7. Castellanos MT, Tarquis AM, Ribas F, Cabello MJ, Arce A, Cartagena MC (2013) Nitrogen fertigation: an integrated agronomic and environmental study. Agric Water Manag 120:46–55Google Scholar
  8. Chen XP, Zhang FS, Cui ZL (2006) The theory and practice of integrated management of nutrient resources in wheat–maize rotation system. China Agricultural University Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen YT, Peng J, Wang J, Fu PH, Hou Y, Zhang CD, Fahad S, Peng SB, Cui KH, Nie LX, Huang JL (2015) Crop management based on multi-split topdressing enhances grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency in irrigated rice in China. Field Crops Res 184:50–57Google Scholar
  10. Chen XH, Ma L, Ma WQ, Wu ZG, Cui ZL, Hou Y, Zhang FS (2018) What has caused the use of fertilizers to skyrocket in China? Nutr Cycl Agroecosys 110(2):241–255Google Scholar
  11. China Agricultural Yearbook (2013) Editorial committee of China agricultural yearbook, 587–605. China Agricultural Publishing House, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  12. Cox MC, Qualset CO, Rains DW (1986) Genetic variation for nitrogen assimilation and translocation in wheat. III. Nitrogen translocation in relation to grain yield and protein. Crop Sci 26:430–435Google Scholar
  13. Cui ZL, Chen XP, Miao YX, Zhang FS, Sun QP, Schroder J, Zhang HL, Li JL, Shi LW, Xu JF, Ye YL, Liu CS, Yang ZP, Zhang Q, Huang SM, Bao DJ (2008a) On-farm evaluation of the improved soil Nmin–based nitrogen. management for summer maize in North China Plain. Agron J 100:517–525Google Scholar
  14. Cui ZL, Zhang FS, Chen XP, Miao YX, Li JL, Shi LW, Xu JF, Ye YL, Liu CS, Yang ZP, Zhang Q, Huang SM, Bao DJ (2008b) On-farm evaluation of an in-season nitrogen management strategy based on soil N-min test. Field Crops Res 105:48–55Google Scholar
  15. Cui ZL, Chen XP, Zhang FS (2013a) Development of regional nitrogen rate guidelines for intensive cropping systems in China. Agron J 105:1411–1416Google Scholar
  16. Cui ZL, Dou Z, Chen XP, Ju XT, Zhang FS (2013b) Managing agricultural nutrients for food security in China: past, present, and future. Agron J 106:191–198Google Scholar
  17. Cui ZL, Yue SC, Wang GP, Meng QF, Wu L, Yang ZP, Zhang Q, Li SQ, Zhang FS, Chen XP (2013c) Closing the yield gap could reduce projected greenhouse gas emissions: a case study of maize production in China. Glob Chang Biol 19:2467–2477PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Cui ZL, Wang GL, Yue SC, Wu L, Zhang WF, Zhang FS, Chen XP (2014) Closing the N-use efficiency gap to achieve food and environmental security. Environ Sci Technol 48:5780–5787PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Dai JL, Li WJ, Zhang DM, Tang W, Li ZH, Lu HQ, Kong XQ, Luo Z, Xu SZ, Xin CS, Dong HZ (2017) Competitive yield and economic benefits of cotton achieved through a combination of extensive pruning and a reduced nitrogen rate at high plant density. Field Crops Res 209:65–72Google Scholar
  20. Dobermann A, Witt C, Dawe D, Abdulrachman S, Gines HC, Nagarajan R, Satawathananont S, Son TT, Tan PS, Wang GH, Chien NV, Thoa VTK, Phung CV, Stalin P, Muthukrishnan P, Ravi V, Babu M, Chatuporn S, Sookthongsa J, Sun Q, Fu R, Simbahan GC, Adviento MAA (2002) Site-specific nutrient management for intensive rice cropping systems in Asia. Field Crops Res 74:37–66Google Scholar
  21. Fan MS, Shen JB, Yuan LX, Jiang RF, Chen XP, Davies WJ, Zhang FS (2012) Improving crop productivity and resource use efficiency to ensure food security and environmental quality in China. JExB 63:13–24Google Scholar
  22. Gao X, Li C, Zhang M, Wang R, Chen B (2015) Controlled release urea improved the nitrogen use efficiency, yield and quality of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) on silt loamy soil. Field Crops Res 181:60–68Google Scholar
  23. Geng JB, Chen JQ, Sun YB, Zheng WK, Tian XF, Yang YC, Li CL, Zhang M (2016) Controlled release urea improved nitrogen use efficiency and yield of wheat and corn. Agron J 108:1666–1673Google Scholar
  24. Guo JH, Liu XJ, Zhang Y, Shen JL, Han WX, Zhang WF, Christie P, Goulding KWT, Vitousek PM, Zhang FS (2010) Significant acidification in major Chinese croplands. Science (Washington, DC) 327:1008–1010Google Scholar
  25. Guo ZJ, Zhang YL, Zhao JY, Shi Y, Yu ZW (2014) Nitrogen use by winter wheat and changes in soil nitrate nitrogen levels with supplemental irrigation based on measurement of moisture content in various soil layers. Field Crops Res 164:117–125Google Scholar
  26. Hartmann TE, Yue S, Schulz R, He X, Chen X, Zhang F, Müller T (2015) Yield and N use efficiency of a maize–wheat cropping system as affected by different fertilizer management strategies in a farmer’s field of the North China Plain. Field Crops Res 174:30–39Google Scholar
  27. Hou P, Gao Q, Xie RZ, Li SK, Meng QF, Kirkby EA, Römheld V, Müller T, Zhang FS, Cui ZL, Chen XP (2012) Grain yields in relation to N requirement—optimizing nitrogen management for spring maize grown in China. Field Crops Res 129:1–6Google Scholar
  28. Huang T, Ju X, Yang H (2017) Nitrate leaching in a winter wheat-summer maize rotation on a calcareous soil as affected by nitrogen and straw management. Sci Rep 7:42247PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. IFA (2016) IFADATA. http://ifadata.fertilizer.org/ucSearch.aspx. Accessed 8 May 2016
  30. Jin LB, Cui HY, Li B, Zhang JW, Dong ST, Liu P (2012) Effects of integrated agronomic management practices on yield and nitrogen efficiency of summer maize in North China. Field Crops Res 134:30–35Google Scholar
  31. Khakbazan M, Mohr RM, Derksen DA, Monreal MA, Grant CA, Zentner RP, Moulin AP, McLaren DL, Irvine RB, Nagy CN (2009) Effects of alternative management practices on the economics, energy and GHG emissions of a wheat-pea cropping system in the Canadian prairies. Soil Till Res 104:30–38Google Scholar
  32. Ladha JK, Pathak H, Krupnik TJ, Six J, van Kessel C (2005) Efficiency of fertilizer nitrogen in cereal production: retrospects and prospects. Adv Agron 87:85–156Google Scholar
  33. Li RN, Wang LY, Zhang YC, Liu MC, Zhai CX, Chen LL (2010) Effect of topdressing time of nitrogen fertilizer and controlled-release coated urea on winter wheat yield and apparent nitrogen recovery rate. Chin J Eco-Agric 18:277–280Google Scholar
  34. Li ZJ, Hu K, Li BG, He MR, Zhang JW (2015) Evaluation of water and nitrogen use efficiencies in a double cropping system under different integrated management practices based on a model approach. Agric Water Manag 159:19–34Google Scholar
  35. Li CJ, Wen XX, Wan XJ, Liu Y, Han J, Liao YC, Wu W (2016a) Towards the highly effective use of precipitation by ridge-furrow with plastic film mulching instead of relying on irrigation resources in a dry semi-humid area. Field Crops Res 188:62–73Google Scholar
  36. Li Y, Liu HJ, Huang GH (2016b) The effect of nitrogen rates on yields and nitrogen use efficiencies during four years of wheat–maize rotation cropping seasons. Agron J 108:2076–2088Google Scholar
  37. Li CJ, Wang CJ, Wen XX, Qin XL, Liu Y, Han J, Li YJ, Liao YC, Wu W (2017a) Ridge–furrow with plastic film mulching practice improves maize productivity and resource use efficiency under the wheat–maize double–cropping system in dry semi–humid areas. Field Crops Res 203:201–211Google Scholar
  38. Li PC, Dong HL, Liu AZ, Liu JR, Sun M, Li YB, Liu SD, Zhao XH, Mao SC (2017b) Effects of nitrogen rate and split application ratio on nitrogen use and soil nitrogen balance in cotton fields. Pedosphere 27:769–777Google Scholar
  39. Li PF, Lu JW, Hou WF, Pan YH, Wang Y, Khan MR, Ren T, Cong RH, Li XK (2017c) Reducing nitrogen losses through ammonia volatilization and surface runoff to improve apparent nitrogen recovery of double cropping of late rice using controlled release urea. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:11722–11733Google Scholar
  40. Liu K, Wiatrak P (2011) Corn production and plant characteristics response to N fertilization management in dry-land conventional tillage system. Int J Plant Product 5:405–416Google Scholar
  41. Liu XJ, Ju XT, Zhang FS, Pan JR, Christie P (2003) Nitrogen dynamics and budgets in a winter wheat–maize cropping system in the North China Plain. Field Crops Res 83:111–124Google Scholar
  42. Liu G, Wan LB, Zhang M, Cao YP, Xu QM, Chen HK, Yang Y (2009) State standard of the People’s Republic of China-slow release fertilizer (GB/T23348–2009). General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection (in Chinese). China Standard Press, Beijing, pp 2–5Google Scholar
  43. Liu XJ, Duan L, Mo JM, Du EZ, Shen JL, Lu XK, Zhang Y, Zhou XB, He CE, Zhang FS (2011) Nitrogen deposition and its ecological impact in China: an overview. Environ Pollut 159:2251–2264PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Liu X, Xu SS, Zhang JW, Ding YF, Li GH, Wang SH, Liu ZH, Tang S, Ding CQ, Chen L (2016) Effect of continuous reduction of nitrogen application to a rice–wheat rotation system in the middle-lower Yangtze River region (2013–2015). Field Crops Res 196:348–356Google Scholar
  45. Liu ZJ, Meng Y, Cai M, Zhou JB (2017) Coupled effects of mulching and nitrogen fertilization on crop yield, residual soil nitrate, and water use efficiency of summer maize in the Chinese Loess Plateau. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:25849–25860Google Scholar
  46. Lopez-Bellido L, Lopez-Bellido RJ, Redondo R (2005) Nitrogen efficiency in wheat under rainfed Mediterranean conditions as affected by split nitrogen application. Field Crops Res 94:86–97Google Scholar
  47. Meng QF, Yue SC, Hou P, Cui ZL, Chen XP (2016) Improving yield and nitrogen use efficiency simultaneously for maize and wheat in China: a review. Pedosphere 26:137–147Google Scholar
  48. Pan SG, Wen XC, Wang ZM, Ashraf U, Tian H, Duan MY, Mo ZW, Fan PS, Tang XR (2017) Benefits of mechanized deep placement of nitrogen fertilizer in direct-seeded rice in South China. Field Crops Res 203:139–149Google Scholar
  49. Ray DK, Mueller ND, West PC, Foley JA (2013) Yield trends are insufficient to double global crop production by 2050. PLoS ONE 8:e66428PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  50. Reay DS, Davidson EA, Smith KA, Smith P, Melillo JM, Dentener F, Crutzen PJ (2012) Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions. Nat Clim Change 2:410–416Google Scholar
  51. Sharma LK, Bali SK (2018) A review of methods to improve nitrogen use efficiency in agriculture. Sustainability 10(1):51Google Scholar
  52. Shaviv A (2001) Advances in controlled-release fertilizers. Adv Agron 71:1–49Google Scholar
  53. Sun KG, He AL, Hu Y, Li BQ (2010) Study on the effect of the control released urea in the wheat-corn rotation system. Chin J Soil Sci 41:1125–1129Google Scholar
  54. Tedone L, Ali SA, Verdini L, De Mastro G (2018) Nitrogen management strategy for optimizing agronomic and environmental performance of rainfed durum wheat under Mediterranean climate. J Clean Prod 172:2058–2074Google Scholar
  55. Tilman D, Balzer C, Hill J, Befort BL (2011) Global food demand and the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Proc Natl Acad Sci 108:20260–20264PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Trenkle ME (1997) Improving fertilizer use effieieney-controlled release and stabilized fertilizer in agriculture. Int. Fertilizer Industry Assoe, ParisGoogle Scholar
  57. Wang GL, Ye YL, Chen XP, Cui ZL (2014) Determining the optimal nitrogen rate for summer maize in China by integrating agronomic, economic, and environmental aspects. BGeo 11:3031–3041Google Scholar
  58. Wilson ML, Rosen CJ, Moncrief JF (2009) A comparison of techniques for determining nitrogen release from polymer-coated urea in the field. HortScience 44(2):492–494Google Scholar
  59. World Bank (2016) Fertilizer consumption. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.CON.FERT.ZS?locations=CN. Accessed 10 Apr 2017
  60. Yang YC, Zhang M, Zheng L, Cheng DD, Liu M, Geng YQ (2011) Controlled release urea improved nitrogen use efficiency, yield, and quality of wheat. Agron J 103:479–485Google Scholar
  61. Yang YC, Zhang M, Li YC, Fan XH, Geng YQ (2012) Controlled release urea improved nitrogen use efficiency, activities of leaf enzymes, and rice yield. Soil Sci Soc Am J 76:2307–2317Google Scholar
  62. Zhang FS, Wang JQ, Zhang WF, Cui ZL, Ma WQ, Chen XP, Jiang RF (2008) Nutrient use efficiency of major cereal crops in China and measures for improvement. Acta Pedol Sin 45:915–924Google Scholar
  63. Zhang SL, Gao PC, Tong YN, Norse D, Lu YL, Powlson D (2015a) Overcoming nitrogen fertilizer over-use through technical and advisory approaches: a case study from Shaanxi Province, northwest China. Agr Ecosyst Environ 209:89–99Google Scholar
  64. Zhang X, Davidson EA, Mauzerall DL, Searchinger TD, Dumas P, Shen Y (2015b) Managing nitrogen for sustainable development. Nature 528:51–59PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Zheng XH, Han SH, Huang Y, Wang YS, Wang MX (2004) Re-quantifying the emission factors based on field measurements and estimating the direct N2O emission from Chinese croplands. Glob Biogeochem Cycles 18(GB2018):2011–2019Google Scholar
  66. Zheng WK, Sui CL, Liu ZG, Geng JB, Tian XF, Yang XY, Li CL, Zhang M (2016a) Long-term effects of controlled-release urea on crop yields and soil fertility under wheat corn double cropping systems. Agron J 108:1703–1716Google Scholar
  67. Zheng WK, Zhang M, Liu ZG, Zhou HY, Lu H, Zhang WT, Yang YC, Li CL, Chen BC (2016b) Combining controlled-release urea and normal urea to improve the nitrogen use efficiency and yield under wheat–maize double cropping system. Field Crops Res 197:52–62Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of AgronomyNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

Personalised recommendations