Accumulation and leaching of nitrate in soils in wheat-maize production in China

Jie Lu, Zhaohai Bai, Gerard L. Velthof, Zhiguo Wu, David Chadwick, Lin Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Application rates of fertilizers in China often exceed crop requirements, resulting in high accumulation of nitrate (NO3) in the soil. Nitrate that has accumulated in soils is highly prone to leaching, directly threatening the quality of groundwater. A study was conducted to assess the magnitude of NO3 accumulation and leaching in China, to identify factors controlling NO3 accumulation and leaching, and to develop strategies that can be used to minimize NO3 leaching. Data were compiled from 212 studies conducted in China, amounting to 1077 observations of the NO3 content of the 0–100 cm soil profile in wheat and maize fields after harvest. Leaching of NO3 was significantly correlated with NO3 accumulation in the soil. NO3 leaching increased with 0.058 and 0.34 kg NO3-N ha−1 per season for wheat and maize, respectively, for every 1 kg ha-1 increase in NO3-N accumulation in 0–100 cm. This mainly related to lower precipitation during the wheat season and intensive rainfall in the maize season. Accumulation of NO3 in maize systems was 50% lower than for wheat when fertilized at the same rate, due to differences in rainfall between seasons. Soil NO3 accumulation was higher in heavy textured soils than in freely draining lighter textured soils, as most of NO3 leached out of 0–100 cm soil in lighter textured soils. Compared to flood irrigation, sprinkler irrigation increased NO3 accumulation by 17% and 152% for wheat and maize, respectively, due to lower irrigation and leaching rate. The level of nitrate accumulation in Chinese arable soils has become a significant hazard to drinking water, so good agricultural management is essential. Soil NO3 accumulation and leaching in China can be reduced by source and process control, such as reducing fertilizer application, using slow or controlled release forms of fertilizers, and regulating irrigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-415
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Volume212
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

wheat soils
leaching
wheat
maize
nitrates
nitrate
corn
China
soil
irrigation
fertilizers
rain
fertilizer
flood irrigation
sprinkler irrigation
agricultural management
rainfall
process control
arable soils
application rate

Keywords

  • Maize
  • Nitrate accumulation
  • Nitrate leaching
  • Soil
  • Wheat

Cite this

Lu, Jie ; Bai, Zhaohai ; Velthof, Gerard L. ; Wu, Zhiguo ; Chadwick, David ; Ma, Lin. / Accumulation and leaching of nitrate in soils in wheat-maize production in China. In: Agricultural Water Management. 2019 ; Vol. 212. pp. 407-415.
@article{e43a28f7b7b54c3f9aa530b8a9ef3a50,
title = "Accumulation and leaching of nitrate in soils in wheat-maize production in China",
abstract = "Application rates of fertilizers in China often exceed crop requirements, resulting in high accumulation of nitrate (NO3) in the soil. Nitrate that has accumulated in soils is highly prone to leaching, directly threatening the quality of groundwater. A study was conducted to assess the magnitude of NO3 accumulation and leaching in China, to identify factors controlling NO3 accumulation and leaching, and to develop strategies that can be used to minimize NO3 leaching. Data were compiled from 212 studies conducted in China, amounting to 1077 observations of the NO3 content of the 0–100 cm soil profile in wheat and maize fields after harvest. Leaching of NO3 was significantly correlated with NO3 accumulation in the soil. NO3 leaching increased with 0.058 and 0.34 kg NO3-N ha−1 per season for wheat and maize, respectively, for every 1 kg ha-1 increase in NO3-N accumulation in 0–100 cm. This mainly related to lower precipitation during the wheat season and intensive rainfall in the maize season. Accumulation of NO3 in maize systems was 50{\%} lower than for wheat when fertilized at the same rate, due to differences in rainfall between seasons. Soil NO3 accumulation was higher in heavy textured soils than in freely draining lighter textured soils, as most of NO3 leached out of 0–100 cm soil in lighter textured soils. Compared to flood irrigation, sprinkler irrigation increased NO3 accumulation by 17{\%} and 152{\%} for wheat and maize, respectively, due to lower irrigation and leaching rate. The level of nitrate accumulation in Chinese arable soils has become a significant hazard to drinking water, so good agricultural management is essential. Soil NO3 accumulation and leaching in China can be reduced by source and process control, such as reducing fertilizer application, using slow or controlled release forms of fertilizers, and regulating irrigation.",
keywords = "Maize, Nitrate accumulation, Nitrate leaching, Soil, Wheat",
author = "Jie Lu and Zhaohai Bai and Velthof, {Gerard L.} and Zhiguo Wu and David Chadwick and Lin Ma",
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Accumulation and leaching of nitrate in soils in wheat-maize production in China. / Lu, Jie; Bai, Zhaohai; Velthof, Gerard L.; Wu, Zhiguo; Chadwick, David; Ma, Lin.

In: Agricultural Water Management, Vol. 212, 01.02.2019, p. 407-415.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Accumulation and leaching of nitrate in soils in wheat-maize production in China

AU - Lu, Jie

AU - Bai, Zhaohai

AU - Velthof, Gerard L.

AU - Wu, Zhiguo

AU - Chadwick, David

AU - Ma, Lin

PY - 2019/2/1

Y1 - 2019/2/1

N2 - Application rates of fertilizers in China often exceed crop requirements, resulting in high accumulation of nitrate (NO3) in the soil. Nitrate that has accumulated in soils is highly prone to leaching, directly threatening the quality of groundwater. A study was conducted to assess the magnitude of NO3 accumulation and leaching in China, to identify factors controlling NO3 accumulation and leaching, and to develop strategies that can be used to minimize NO3 leaching. Data were compiled from 212 studies conducted in China, amounting to 1077 observations of the NO3 content of the 0–100 cm soil profile in wheat and maize fields after harvest. Leaching of NO3 was significantly correlated with NO3 accumulation in the soil. NO3 leaching increased with 0.058 and 0.34 kg NO3-N ha−1 per season for wheat and maize, respectively, for every 1 kg ha-1 increase in NO3-N accumulation in 0–100 cm. This mainly related to lower precipitation during the wheat season and intensive rainfall in the maize season. Accumulation of NO3 in maize systems was 50% lower than for wheat when fertilized at the same rate, due to differences in rainfall between seasons. Soil NO3 accumulation was higher in heavy textured soils than in freely draining lighter textured soils, as most of NO3 leached out of 0–100 cm soil in lighter textured soils. Compared to flood irrigation, sprinkler irrigation increased NO3 accumulation by 17% and 152% for wheat and maize, respectively, due to lower irrigation and leaching rate. The level of nitrate accumulation in Chinese arable soils has become a significant hazard to drinking water, so good agricultural management is essential. Soil NO3 accumulation and leaching in China can be reduced by source and process control, such as reducing fertilizer application, using slow or controlled release forms of fertilizers, and regulating irrigation.

AB - Application rates of fertilizers in China often exceed crop requirements, resulting in high accumulation of nitrate (NO3) in the soil. Nitrate that has accumulated in soils is highly prone to leaching, directly threatening the quality of groundwater. A study was conducted to assess the magnitude of NO3 accumulation and leaching in China, to identify factors controlling NO3 accumulation and leaching, and to develop strategies that can be used to minimize NO3 leaching. Data were compiled from 212 studies conducted in China, amounting to 1077 observations of the NO3 content of the 0–100 cm soil profile in wheat and maize fields after harvest. Leaching of NO3 was significantly correlated with NO3 accumulation in the soil. NO3 leaching increased with 0.058 and 0.34 kg NO3-N ha−1 per season for wheat and maize, respectively, for every 1 kg ha-1 increase in NO3-N accumulation in 0–100 cm. This mainly related to lower precipitation during the wheat season and intensive rainfall in the maize season. Accumulation of NO3 in maize systems was 50% lower than for wheat when fertilized at the same rate, due to differences in rainfall between seasons. Soil NO3 accumulation was higher in heavy textured soils than in freely draining lighter textured soils, as most of NO3 leached out of 0–100 cm soil in lighter textured soils. Compared to flood irrigation, sprinkler irrigation increased NO3 accumulation by 17% and 152% for wheat and maize, respectively, due to lower irrigation and leaching rate. The level of nitrate accumulation in Chinese arable soils has become a significant hazard to drinking water, so good agricultural management is essential. Soil NO3 accumulation and leaching in China can be reduced by source and process control, such as reducing fertilizer application, using slow or controlled release forms of fertilizers, and regulating irrigation.

KW - Maize

KW - Nitrate accumulation

KW - Nitrate leaching

KW - Soil

KW - Wheat

U2 - 10.1016/j.agwat.2018.08.039

DO - 10.1016/j.agwat.2018.08.039

M3 - Article

VL - 212

SP - 407

EP - 415

JO - Agricultural Water Management

JF - Agricultural Water Management

SN - 0378-3774

ER -