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High N fertilizer application to irrigated wheat in Northern Mexico for conventionally tilled and permanent raised beds : effects on N balance and short term N dynamics

By: Grahmann, K.
Contributor(s): Verhulst, N | Dittert, K | Govaerts, B | Buerkert, A.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: Landau, Germany : John Wiley and Sons, 2018Subject(s): Conservation agriculture | Wheats | Nitrogen fertilizers | Mexico AGROVOCOnline resources: Access only for CIMMYT Staff In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science vol. 181, no. 4, p. 606-620Summary: Nitrogen (N) surpluses from fertilizer application can cause major environmental harm including pollution of surface water, groundwater, and air. To assess such negative externalities, N balances are a complex but useful tool to predict surpluses and to measure effects of nutrient optimization strategies in agriculture. The Yaqui Valley in north‐western Mexico is representative for thousands of square kilometres of intensive, irrigated wheat production under arid conditions worldwide and has been targeted for conservation agriculture in recent years. For these cropping systems, detailed N balances are scarce and often incomplete. To help fill this knowledge gap, data from a long‐term experiment were collected in 2013/14 on a Vertisol to examine the impact of three tillage‐straw management practices (CTB: conventionally tilled beds; PB‐straw: permanent raised beds with residue retention; PB‐burn: permanent raised beds with residue burning) on N dynamics. Tillage had significant effects on soil NO3‐N, NH4‐N, and total N contents across the cropping period. Soil total N content was at all sampling depths lowest in CTB. Soil NO3‐N in the 0–90 cm profile was highest in PB‐burn over the cropping period and ranged from 77 kg ha−1 in the bed before pre‐planting fertilizer application up to 269 kg ha−1 in the furrow after the second fertilizer application. Annual simple N balances were +59 kg N ha−1 in CTB, +39 kg N ha–1 in PB‐straw, and +46 kg N ha−1 in PB‐burn. Residual mineral soil N was significantly affected by tillage‐straw management and lowest for PB‐straw (+205 kg N ha−1) and highest for CTB, and for PB‐burn (+283 kg N ha−1 each) in the 0–90 cm soil profile. Soil NO3‐N moved out of the effective wheat root zone, as indicated by the high residual NO3‐N content at 30–90 cm depth, which is an important pathway of N leaching. Quantifiable N losses through leaching and volatilization averaged 100 kg N ha−1. Our findings suggest that there is potential for substantial reductions in N inputs in all tillage‐straw systems to decrease N losses and to reduce mineral residual soil N, but care should be taken to avoid reducing grain protein content, which in PB straw was already below the quality standard. A knowledge transfer of the European “Nmin” concept is advisable in this region to regulate N fertilizer over‐application.
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Article CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection Available
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Nitrogen (N) surpluses from fertilizer application can cause major environmental harm including pollution of surface water, groundwater, and air. To assess such negative externalities, N balances are a complex but useful tool to predict surpluses and to measure effects of nutrient optimization strategies in agriculture. The Yaqui Valley in north‐western Mexico is representative for thousands of square kilometres of intensive, irrigated wheat production under arid conditions worldwide and has been targeted for conservation agriculture in recent years. For these cropping systems, detailed N balances are scarce and often incomplete. To help fill this knowledge gap, data from a long‐term experiment were collected in 2013/14 on a Vertisol to examine the impact of three tillage‐straw management practices (CTB: conventionally tilled beds; PB‐straw: permanent raised beds with residue retention; PB‐burn: permanent raised beds with residue burning) on N dynamics. Tillage had significant effects on soil NO3‐N, NH4‐N, and total N contents across the cropping period. Soil total N content was at all sampling depths lowest in CTB. Soil NO3‐N in the 0–90 cm profile was highest in PB‐burn over the cropping period and ranged from 77 kg ha−1 in the bed before pre‐planting fertilizer application up to 269 kg ha−1 in the furrow after the second fertilizer application. Annual simple N balances were +59 kg N ha−1 in CTB, +39 kg N ha–1 in PB‐straw, and +46 kg N ha−1 in PB‐burn. Residual mineral soil N was significantly affected by tillage‐straw management and lowest for PB‐straw (+205 kg N ha−1) and highest for CTB, and for PB‐burn (+283 kg N ha−1 each) in the 0–90 cm soil profile. Soil NO3‐N moved out of the effective wheat root zone, as indicated by the high residual NO3‐N content at 30–90 cm depth, which is an important pathway of N leaching. Quantifiable N losses through leaching and volatilization averaged 100 kg N ha−1. Our findings suggest that there is potential for substantial reductions in N inputs in all tillage‐straw systems to decrease N losses and to reduce mineral residual soil N, but care should be taken to avoid reducing grain protein content, which in PB straw was already below the quality standard. A knowledge transfer of the European “Nmin” concept is advisable in this region to regulate N fertilizer over‐application.

Wheat CRP FP4 - Sustainable intensification of wheat - based cropping systems

Text in English

Grahmann, K. : Not in IRS staff list but CIMMYT Affiliation CIMMYT Informa : 2021 (Octubre 15, 2018)

Buerkert, A. : Not in IRS staff list but CIMMYT Affiliation

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