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Article

Nitrogen Leaching and Nitrogen Balance under Differing Nitrogen Fertilization for Sugarcane Cultivation on a Subtropical Island

1
Tropical Agriculture Research Front, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, 1091-1 Maezato-Kawarabaru, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0002, Japan
2
Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Suya 2421, Koshi, Kumamoto 861-1192, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Per-Erik Mellander
Water 2021, 13(5), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050740
Received: 26 January 2021 / Revised: 4 March 2021 / Accepted: 5 March 2021 / Published: 9 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Contamination)
Fertilizer application during sugarcane cultivation is a main source of nitrogen (N) loads to groundwater on small islands in southwestern Japan. The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of reducing the N fertilizer application rate on sugarcane yield, N leaching, and N balance. We conducted a sugarcane cultivation experiment with drainage lysimeters and different N application rates in three cropping seasons (three years). N loads were reduced by reducing the first N application rate in all cropping seasons. The sugarcane yields of the treatment to which the first N application was halved (T2 = 195 kg ha−1 N) were slightly lower than those of the conventional application (T1 = 230 kg ha−1 N) in the first and third seasons (T1 = 91 or 93 tons ha−1, T2 = 89 or 87 tons ha−1). N uptake in T1 and T2 was almost the same in seasons 1 (186–188 kg ha−1) and 3 (147–151 kg ha−1). Based on the responses of sugarcane yield and N uptake to fertilizer reduction in two of the three years, T2 is considered to represent a feasible fertilization practice for farmers. The reduction of the first N fertilizer application reduced the underground amounts of N loads (0–19 kg ha−1). However, application of 0 N in the first fertilization would lead to a substantial reduction in yield in all seasons. Reducing the amount of N in the first application (i.e., replacing T1 with T2) improved N recovery by 9.7–11.9% and reduced N leaching by 13 kg ha−1. These results suggest that halving the amount of N used in the first application can improve N fertilizer use efficiency and reduce N loss to groundwater. View Full-Text
Keywords: lysimeter; groundwater pollution; nitrogen load; nitrogen fertilizer; tropical and subtropical island lysimeter; groundwater pollution; nitrogen load; nitrogen fertilizer; tropical and subtropical island
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MDPI and ACS Style

Okamoto, K.; Goto, S.; Anzai, T.; Ando, S. Nitrogen Leaching and Nitrogen Balance under Differing Nitrogen Fertilization for Sugarcane Cultivation on a Subtropical Island. Water 2021, 13, 740. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050740

AMA Style

Okamoto K, Goto S, Anzai T, Ando S. Nitrogen Leaching and Nitrogen Balance under Differing Nitrogen Fertilization for Sugarcane Cultivation on a Subtropical Island. Water. 2021; 13(5):740. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050740

Chicago/Turabian Style

Okamoto, Ken, Shinkichi Goto, Toshihiko Anzai, and Shotaro Ando. 2021. "Nitrogen Leaching and Nitrogen Balance under Differing Nitrogen Fertilization for Sugarcane Cultivation on a Subtropical Island" Water 13, no. 5: 740. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050740

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