Exploring options to combine high yields with high nitrogen use efficiencies in irrigated rice in China

Q. Jing, B.A.M. Bouman, H. Hengsdijk, H. van Keulen, W. Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


In Jiangsu province, Southeast China, high irrigated rice yields (6-8000 kg ha(-1)) are supported by high nitrogen (N) fertilizer inputs (260-300 kg N ha(-1)) and low fertilizer N use efficiencies (recoveries of 30-35%). Improvement of fertilizer N use efficiency can increase farmers' profitability and reduce negative environmental externalities. This paper combines field experimentation with simulation modeling to explore N fertilizer management strategies to realize high yields, while increasing N use efficiency. The rice growth model ORYZA2000 was parameterized and evaluated using data from field experiments carried out in Nanjing, China. ORYZA2000 satisfactorily simulated yield, crop biomass and crop N dynamics, and the model was applied to explore options for different N-fertilizer management regimes, at low and high levels of indigenous soil N supply, using 43 years of historical weather data. On average, yields of around 10-11,000 kg ha(-1) were realized (simulated and in field experiments) with fertilizer N rates of around 200 kg ha'. Higher fertilizer doses did not result in substantially higher yields, except under very favorable weather conditions when yields exceeding 13,000 kg ha(-1) were calculated. At fertilizer rates of 150-200 kg ha(-1), and at the tested indigenous soil N supplies of 0.6-0.9 kg ha(-1) day(-1), high fertilizer N recovery (53-56%), partial N productivity (50-70 kg kg(-1)) and agronomic N use efficiency (20-30 kg kg(-1)) were obtained with application in three equal splits at transplanting, panicle initiation and booting. Increasing the number of splits to six did not further increase yield or improve any of the N use efficiency parameters. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-177
JournalEuropean Journal of Agronomy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • lowland rice
  • nutrient management
  • measured values
  • growth-model
  • validation
  • benefits
  • balance
  • systems
  • urea
  • asia


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