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Effects of reduced irrigation dose and slow release fertiliser on nitrogen use efficiency and crop yield in a semi-arid loamy sand

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  • Chilundo, Mario
  • Joel, Abraham
  • Wesström, Ingrid
  • Brito, Rui
  • Messing, Ingmar

Abstract

Quantification of the interactive effects of irrigation water and nitrogen (N) fertiliser on nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) provides an important insight for more effective water and N management. This study evaluated the effects of different irrigation and N fertiliser management options on water flux, N uptake, NUE and maize grain yield in a semi-arid loamy sand in Mozambique. The experiments were carried out in field plots in two consecutive cropping periods (CP’s) representing contrasting growing seasons: a hot-wet season (CP-1) and a cold-dry season (CP-2). The treatments included two irrigation methods (furrow and drip), two irrigation levels (75 and 100% of the crop water requirement), and two distinct N fertiliser types (a quick-release and slow-release urea) arranged in a randomised complete block design. In both CP-1 and CP-2, NUE tended to be higher for the 75% irrigation level, regardless of irrigation method and N fertiliser type. Higher NUE was generally observed in CP-2 than in CP-1. The highest grain NUE (41.6kgkg−1N) was observed in CP-2 under furrow irrigation combined with 75% irrigation level and quick-release N fertiliser. Slow-release N fertiliser did not improve N uptake, NUE or maize yield. Potential N losses were assumed to be higher in CP-1 than in CP-2, associated with higher estimated deep percolation volumes in CP-1 (mean 127mm) than in CP-2 (mean 12mm). In CP-1, deep percolation events mainly coincided with high rainfall events. Furrow irrigation tended to give higher NUE than drip irrigation, especially in CP-2. Reducing of irrigation level by 25% tended to increase N uptake, NUE and maize yield for both CP-1 and CP-2. The effects of slow-release N fertiliser and drip irrigation were inconclusive.

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  • Chilundo, Mario & Joel, Abraham & Wesström, Ingrid & Brito, Rui & Messing, Ingmar, 2016. "Effects of reduced irrigation dose and slow release fertiliser on nitrogen use efficiency and crop yield in a semi-arid loamy sand," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 68-77.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:168:y:2016:i:c:p:68-77
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2016.02.004
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    2. Chilundo, Mario & Joel, Abraham & Wesström, Ingrid & Brito, Rui & Messing, Ingmar, 2018. "Influence of irrigation and fertilisation management on the seasonal distribution of water and nitrogen in a semi-arid loamy sandy soil," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 199(C), pages 120-137.
    3. Youzhen Xiang & Haiyang Zou & Fucang Zhang & Shengcai Qiang & You Wu & Shicheng Yan & Haidong Wang & Lifeng Wu & Junliang Fan & Xiukang Wang, 2018. "Effect of Irrigation Level and Irrigation Frequency on the Growth of Mini Chinese Cabbage and Residual Soil Nitrate Nitrogen," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(1), pages 1-20, December.
    4. Wang, Xiukang & Guo, Tao & Wang, Yi & Xing, Yingying & Wang, Yanfeng & He, Xiaolong, 2020. "Exploring the optimization of water and fertilizer management practices for potato production in the sandy loam soils of Northwest China based on PCA," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 237(C).
    5. Li, Guanghao & Zhao, Bin & Dong, Shuting & Zhang, Jiwang & Liu, Peng & Lu, Weiping, 2020. "Controlled-release urea combining with optimal irrigation improved grain yield, nitrogen uptake, and growth of maize," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 227(C).

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