Plant and Soil

, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 215–224 | Cite as

The fate of labelled15N urea and ammonium nitrate applied to a winter wheat crop

II. plant uptake and N efficiency
  • S. Recous
  • J. M. Machet
  • B. Mary


A field experiment was conducted on a winter wheat crop in Northern France with either15N-urea or ammonium nitrate, labelled either on NH4 or on NO3. The fertilizer was split between two dressings, one applied in early March and the second in mid-April, labelled separately. N uptake by the crop was measured at 8 successive times after each dressing. The N uptake efficiency of nitrate was higher than that of ammonium or urea over the whole growth cycle for both dressings. The RUC (Real Utilization Coefficient) reached a maximum at anthesis or even before anthesis, and decreased during the grain-filling period, indicative of N turnover in shoots. Thus the annual N use efficiency appeared highly dependent upon the date of measurement. At harvest, the contribution of soil N (residual N+mineralized N) to the crop was comparable to that from fertilizer, but the two pools were utilized at different periods.

Key words

ammonium nitrate fertilizer efficiency N dynamics N recovery 15N field experiment urea winter wheat 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Recous
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. M. Machet
    • 3
    • 1
  • B. Mary
    • 3
    • 1
  1. 1.Station d'Agronomie de LAONLaon cedexFrance
  2. 2.Contrat CIFRE COFAZ, INRA LaonUniv. Lyon ILyonFrance
  3. 3.Department d'AgronomieINRALyonFrance

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