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Open AccessArticle

Investigating the Combined Effect of Tillage, Nitrogen Fertilization and Cover Crops on Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Winter Wheat

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Ecologie et Dynamique des Systèmes Anthropisés (EDYSAN, FRE 3498 CNRS UPJV), Laboratoire d’Agroécologie, Ecophysiologie et Biologie intégrative, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, 33 rue St Leu, CEDEX 80039 Amiens, France
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Adaptation des Plantes à leur Environnement, Unité Mixte de Recherche 1318, Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre de Versailles-Grignon, R.D. 10, CEDEX F-78026 Versailles, France
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Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2017, 7(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy7040066
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
A field study was conducted in northern France over two consecutive years to evaluate the combined effect of conventional tillage (CT) vs no till (NT) with or without cover crops (cc) and nitrogen (N) fertilization on various agronomic traits related to N use efficiency in winter wheat. Five years after conversion of CT to NT, significant increases in N use efficiency, N utilization efficiency, N agronomic efficiency, N partial factor productivity, N apparent recovery fraction and N remobilization were observed under three N fertilization regimes (0, 161, 215 kg ha−1). It was also observed that grain yield and grain N content were similar under CT and NT. The N nutrition index was higher under NT at the three rates of N fertilization. Moreover, N use efficiency related traits were increased in the presence of cc both under NT and CT. Thus, agronomic practices based on continuous NT in the presence of cc, appear to be promising strategies to increase N use efficiency in wheat, while reducing both the use and the loss of N-based fertilizers. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen use efficiency; tillage system; cover crops; nitrogen application; grain yield; winter wheat nitrogen use efficiency; tillage system; cover crops; nitrogen application; grain yield; winter wheat
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Habbib, H.; Hirel, B.; Verzeaux, J.; Roger, D.; Lacoux, J.; Lea, P.; Dubois, F.; Tétu, T. Investigating the Combined Effect of Tillage, Nitrogen Fertilization and Cover Crops on Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Winter Wheat. Agronomy 2017, 7, 66.

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