Balanced N and C input recommendations for rain-fed maize production in northern China based on N balances and grain yields

Xiaobin Wang*, Dianxiong Cai, Quansheng Zhao, Xiaohong Xie, Willem B. Hoogmoed, Oene Oenema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to assess longer-term (1993-2009) effects of combined applications of fertiliser, maize stover, and cattle manure on maize yields, partial nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) balances, and water and N-use efficiencies, to guide N and C input recommendations for rain-fed maize production in northern China. RESULTS: The field trial, with three factors at five levels and 12 treatments, was conducted at Shouyang Dryland-Farming Experimental Station, Shanxi, China. Data analysis revealed higher N balances but lower C balances significantly occurred in a dry year than in a wet year. Positive N balances related to higher N inputs resulted in higher soil available N, even downward to deep layers with increasing N inputs, while positive C balances due to higher C inputs could be benefit to increase soil organic C. Based on partial N balances and grain yields, N and C inputs at ranges of 100kg N ha-1 and 1.9-2.9Mg C ha-1 could be recommended for target yields of 6.7-7.2Mg ha-1 in rain-fed maize production. CONCLUSION: The study suggests that N balances close to neutral be given priority to improving N-use efficiency, and more positive C balances also be important for sustaining target yields and soil fertility levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-883
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Volume98
Issue number3
Early online date28 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Carbon
  • Dryland
  • Maize
  • Nitrogen
  • Rain-fed farming

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