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Effects of Different Fertilization Regimes on Crop Yield and Soil Water Use Efficiency of Millet and Soybean

by 1,2, 1,2, 1,3,*, 1,3, 1,3 and 1,3
1
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4125; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104125
Received: 19 April 2020 / Revised: 14 May 2020 / Accepted: 14 May 2020 / Published: 18 May 2020
Soil water and nutrients are major factors limiting crop productivity. In the present study, soil water use efficiency (WUE) and crop yield of millet and soybean were investigated under nine fertilization regimes (no nitrogen (N) and no phosphorus (P) (CK), 120 kg ha−1 N and no P (N1P0), 240 kg ha−1 N and no P (N2P0), 45 kg ha−1 P and no N (N0P1), 90 kg ha−1 P and no N (N0P2), 120 kg ha−1 N and 45 kg ha−1 P (N1P1), 240 kg ha−1 N and 45 kg ha−1 P (N2P1), 120 kg ha−1 N and 90 kg ha−1 P (N1P2), 240 kg ha−1 N and 90 kg ha−1 P (N2P2)) in the Loess Plateau, China. We conducted fertilization experiments in two cultivation seasons and collected soil nutrient, water use, and crop yield data. Combined N and P fertilization resulted in the greatest increase in crop yield and WUE, followed by the single P fertilizer application, and single N fertilizer application. The control treatment, which consisted of neither P nor N fertilizer application, had the least effect on crop yield. The combined N and P fertilization increased soil organic matter (SOM) and soil total N, while soil water consumption increased in all treatments. SOM and total N content increased significantly when compared to the control conditions, by 27.1–81.3%, and 301.3–669.2%, respectively, only under combined N and P application. The combined N and P application promoted the formation of a favorable soil aggregate structure and improved soil microbial activity, which accelerated fertilizer use, and enhanced the capacity of soil to maintain fertilizer supply. Crop yield increased significantly in all treatments when compared to the control conditions, with soybean and millet yields increasing by 82.5–560.1% and 55–490.8%, respectively. The combined application of N and P fertilizers increased soil water consumption, improved soil WUE, and satisfied crop growth and development requirements. In addition, soil WUE was significantly positively correlated with crop yield. Our results provide a scientific basis for rational crop fertilization in semi-arid areas on the Loess Plateau. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil nutrients; fertilization; WUE; crop yield; Loess Plateau soil nutrients; fertilization; WUE; crop yield; Loess Plateau
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Q.; Xu, H.; Mu, X.; Zhao, G.; Gao, P.; Sun, W. Effects of Different Fertilization Regimes on Crop Yield and Soil Water Use Efficiency of Millet and Soybean. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4125. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104125

AMA Style

Liu Q, Xu H, Mu X, Zhao G, Gao P, Sun W. Effects of Different Fertilization Regimes on Crop Yield and Soil Water Use Efficiency of Millet and Soybean. Sustainability. 2020; 12(10):4125. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104125

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liu, Qiang, Hongwei Xu, Xingmin Mu, Guangju Zhao, Peng Gao, and Wenyi Sun. 2020. "Effects of Different Fertilization Regimes on Crop Yield and Soil Water Use Efficiency of Millet and Soybean" Sustainability 12, no. 10: 4125. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104125

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