Special Issue "Nitrogen Fertilization in Crop Production"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 June 2021) | Viewed by 6244

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Andreas S. Pacholski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Thuenen Institute for Climate Smart Agriculture, Bundesallee 65, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
Interests: ammonia emission; agronomy; nitrogen use efficiency; fertilizers; agricultural sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The supply and availability of nitrogen, the major crop nutrient, are decisive for crop productivity. Productivity effects of nitrogen are site-, weather- and nitrogen form-specific. Synthetic and organic N fertilizers vary with respect to their effects on crop growth, crop quality and nitrogen losses. Globally, nitrogen losses from agricultural systems are amongst the major pressures on managed and natural ecosystems. Sustainable nitrogen management and improving nitrogen use efficiency are key in solving the global ecological crisis while maintaining sufficient food supply.

This Special Issue of Agriculture is dedicated to the effects of fertilization of different nitrogen forms and fertilizers on crop productivity in interaction with other crop nutrients, water supply, crop type and site conditions. Crop production effects should be embedded in a comprehensive framework covering loss processes to the environment (ammonia, N2O, nitrate) and crop rotation effects with potential involvement of a perspective on biodiversity.

Authors are invited to submit papers covering various aspects of the scope of this Special Issue while avoiding a mere N response perspective of nitrogen supply on crop production. The focus is on increasing the understanding of the interaction of nitrogen fertilization with loss processes, site effects and crop physiology. Contributions with a wider perspective on food security and land use are also encouraged.

Dr. Andreas S. Pacholski
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • nitrogen use efficiency
  • crop productivity
  • nitrogen losses
  • ammonia volatilization
  • denitrification
  • nitrogen forms
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • nitrate leaching
  • nitrogen nutrient interactions
  • nitrogen water interactions
  • biodiversity

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Acidification Effects on In Situ Ammonia Emissions and Cereal Yields Depending on Slurry Type and Application Method
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111053 - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 745
Abstract
Field application of organic slurries contributes considerably to emissions of ammonia (NH3) which causes sever environmental damage and can result in lower nitrogen (N) fertilizer efficiency. In recent years, field acidification systems have been introduced to reduce such NH3 emissions. [...] Read more.
Field application of organic slurries contributes considerably to emissions of ammonia (NH3) which causes sever environmental damage and can result in lower nitrogen (N) fertilizer efficiency. In recent years, field acidification systems have been introduced to reduce such NH3 emissions. However, combined field data on ammonia emissions and N use efficiency of acidified slurries, in particular by practical acidification systems, are scarce. Here, we present for the first time a simultaneous in situ assessment of the effects of acidification of five different organic slurries with a commercial acidifications system combined with different application techniques. The analysis was performed in randomized plot trials in winter wheat and spring barley after two applications to each crop (before tillering and after flag leave emergence) in year 2014 in Denmark. Slurry types included cattle slurry, mink slurry, pig slurry, anaerobic digestate, and the liquid phase of anaerobic digestate. Tested application techniques were trail hose application with and without slurry acidification in winter wheat and slurry injection and incorporation compared to trail hose application with and without acidification in spring barley. Slurries were applied on 9 m × 9 m plots separated by buffer areas of the same dimension. Ammonia emission was determined by a combination of semi-quantitative acid traps scaled by absolute emissions obtained from Draeger Tube Method dynamic chamber measurements. Experimental results were analysed by mixed effects models and HSD post hoc test (p < 0.05). Significant and almost quantitative NH3 emission reduction compared to trail hose application was observed in the barley trial by slurry incorporation of acidified slurry (89% reduction) and closed slot injection (96% reduction), while incorporation alone decreased emissions by 60%. In the two applications to winter wheat, compared to trail hose application of non-acidified slurry, acidification reduced NH3 emissions by 61% and 67% in cattle slurry, in anaerobic digestate by 45% and 57% and liquid phase of anaerobic digestate by 58%, respectively. Similar effects but on a lower emission level were observed in mink slurry, while acidification showed almost no effect in pig slurry. Acidifying animal manure with a commercial system was confirmed to consistently reduce NH3 emissions of most slurry types, and emission reductions were similar as from experimental acidification systems. However, failure to reduce ammonia emissions in pig slurry hint to technical limitations of such systems. Winter wheat and spring barley yields were only partly significantly increased by use of ammonia emission mitigation measures, while there were significant positive effects on apparent nitrogen use efficiency (+17–28%). The assessment of the agronomic effects of acidification requires further investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Crop Production)
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Article
Sugar Beet Root Yield and Quality with Leaf Seasonal Dynamics in Relation to Planting Densities and Nitrogen Fertilization
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050407 - 02 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 804
Abstract
This study aimed to analyze the seasonal dynamics of sugar beet leaf and root yield and quality in different plant populations and the nitrogen fertilization rate. The field trials were set as four different planting densities (60,000 to 140,000 plants ha−1) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to analyze the seasonal dynamics of sugar beet leaf and root yield and quality in different plant populations and the nitrogen fertilization rate. The field trials were set as four different planting densities (60,000 to 140,000 plants ha−1) and three different spring nitrogen fertilization rates: no fertilization, pre-sowing (45 kg ha−1 N), and pre-sowing with top dressing (99 kg ha−1 N in 2014 and 85.5 kg ha−1 N in 2015. The changes of leaf growth were done measuring leaf area (LA), leaf area index (LAI), specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf area ratio (LAR). The highest LAI in 2014 was determined on 30 July at 140,000 plants ha−1 (9.35 m2 m−1) and in 2015 on 20 June at 100,000 plants ha−1 (4.83 m2 m−2). In both years, the SLA and LAR was highest at the end of May. In relation to plant density, higher plant densities had on average the highest root yield, sucrose content, and white sugar yield. In both years, pre-sowing with top dressing spring nitrogen fertilization resulted in the highest root (95.0 t ha−1) and white sugar yield (11.4 t ha−1), whereas the highest sucrose content was after pre-sowing fertilization (14.9%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Crop Production)
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Article
Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization on the Dynamics of Concentration and Uptake of Selected Microelements in the Biomass of Miscanthus x giganteus
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11040360 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 775
Abstract
This paper presents the effects of nitrogen (N) fertilization on the concentration of selected micronutrients as an important issue in reducing combustion-induced air pollution. We studied the effects of the dose of 60 kg ha−1 N in different terms of biomass sampling [...] Read more.
This paper presents the effects of nitrogen (N) fertilization on the concentration of selected micronutrients as an important issue in reducing combustion-induced air pollution. We studied the effects of the dose of 60 kg ha−1 N in different terms of biomass sampling on the concentration and uptake of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) in the dry matter of the underground and aerial parts of Miscanthus x giganteus in the years 2014–2016. The order of microelement concentrations (mg kg−1) in rhizomes and the aboveground parts of plants was as follows: Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu. N fertilization had no significant effect on the concentrations of the selected microelements in the Mischanthus biomass (except for the Mn concentration in the stems and Cu in the leaves). The results indicated that the quality of the combustion biomass did not worsen under nitrogen fertilization. During the whole vegetation period, the iron concentration increased in the rhizomes and decreased for Zn and Cu. In the aboveground parts of the plant, the concentrations of all tested elements decreased. In turn, the uptake of Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu (except for Fe in the stems) by rhizomes and the aboveground parts of Mischanthus depended significantly on the N fertilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Crop Production)
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Article
An Assessment of the Site-Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) Strategy for Irrigated Rice in Asia
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110559 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1173
Abstract
The site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) strategy provides guidelines for effective nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium management to help farmers make better decisions on fertilizer input and output levels in rice (Oryza sativa) production. The SSNM fertilizer recommendations are based on the yield [...] Read more.
The site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) strategy provides guidelines for effective nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium management to help farmers make better decisions on fertilizer input and output levels in rice (Oryza sativa) production. The SSNM fertilizer recommendations are based on the yield goal approach, which has been frequently cited in empirical studies. This study evaluates the assumptions underlying the SSNM strategy for rice in the top rice-producing countries around the world, including India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Using a generalized quadratic production function, I explore whether major nutrients are substitutes as inputs and if there are complementarities between inorganic fertilizer and soil organic matter (SOM). The results suggest the relationships among major nutrients vary across sites—some inputs are complements, some are substitutes, and some are independent. The SOM also significantly affects the nitrogen fertilizer uptake. I conclude by suggesting that the SSNM strategy can be made to be more adaptive to farmer’s fields if these relationships are accounted for in the fertilizer recommendation algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Crop Production)
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Article
Efficiency of Mineral Nitrogen Fertilization in Winter Wheat under Pannonian Climate Conditions
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110541 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 920
Abstract
Improvements in nitrogen (N) use efficiency in crop production are important for addressing the triple challenges of food security, environmental degradation and climate change. The three fertilizers, calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), urea (Urea) and stabilized urea (Ureastab), were applied at a [...] Read more.
Improvements in nitrogen (N) use efficiency in crop production are important for addressing the triple challenges of food security, environmental degradation and climate change. The three fertilizers, calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), urea (Urea) and stabilized urea (Ureastab), were applied at a rate of 160 kg N ha−1 with two or three splits to winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in the Pannonian climate region of eastern Austria. On average, over all fertilization treatments, the grain yield (GY) increased by about a quarter and the grain N concentration (GNC) doubled compared to the control without fertilization. Consequently, the grain N yield (NYGRAIN) was increased with N fertilization by 154%. The GY increased due to a higher grain density with no differences between N fertilizers but with a tendency of a higher grain yield with three compared to two splits. Three splits also slightly increased the GNC and consequently the NYGRAIN of CAN and Ureastab in one year. The removal of N fertilizer with the NYGRAIN (N surplus) was higher than the amount of applied fertilizer. Fertilization decreased the N use efficiency (NUE), the N uptake efficiency (NUpE) and the N utilization efficiency (NUtE) but increased the soil mineral nitrate (NO3-N) at harvest and the apparent N loss (ANL). Three compared to two applications resulted in a higher NO3-N at harvest but also a lower N surplus due to partly higher NYGRAIN. Consequently, the ANL was lower with three compared to two splits. Also, the NUpE and the apparent N recovery efficiency (ANRE) were higher with three splits. The best N treatment regarding highest above-ground biomass yield with lowest N surplus, N balance and ANL was the three-split treatment (50 CAN, 50 CAN, 60 liquid urea ammonium nitrate). Three splits can, under semi-arid conditions, be beneficial when aiming high-quality wheat for bread-making and also for reducing the N loss. Whereas, two splits are recommended when aiming only at high GY, e.g., for ethanol-wheat production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Crop Production)
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Article
Does the Organ-Based N Dilution Curve Improve the Predictions of N Status in Winter Wheat?
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110500 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
Accurately summarizing Nitrogen (N) content as a prelude to optimal N fertilizer application is complicated during the vegetative growth period of all the crop species studied. The critical nitrogen (N) concentration (Nc) dilution curve is a stable diagnostic indicator, which performs plant critical [...] Read more.
Accurately summarizing Nitrogen (N) content as a prelude to optimal N fertilizer application is complicated during the vegetative growth period of all the crop species studied. The critical nitrogen (N) concentration (Nc) dilution curve is a stable diagnostic indicator, which performs plant critical N concentration trends as crop grows. This study developed efficient technologies for different organ-based (plant dry matters (PDM), leaf DM (LDM), stem DM (SDM), and leaf area index (LAI)) estimation of Nc curves to enrich the practical applications of precision N management strategies. Four winter wheat cultivars were planted with 10 different N treatments in Jiangsu province of eastern China. Results showed the SDM-based curve had a better performance than the PDM-based curve in N nutrition index (NNI) estimation, accumulated N deficit (AND) calculation, and N requirement (NR) determination. The regression coefficients ‘a’ and ‘b’ varied among the four critical N dilution models: Nc = 3.61 × LDM–0.19, R2 = 0.77; Nc = 2.50 × SDM–0.44, R2 = 0.89; Nc = 4.16 × PDM–0.41, R2 = 0.87; and Nc = 3.82 × LAI–0.36, R2 = 0.81. In later growth periods, the SDM-based curve was found to be a feasible indicator for calculating NNI, AND, and NR, relative to curves based on the other indicators. Meanwhile, the lower LAI-based curve coefficient variation values stated that leaf-related indicators were also a good choice for developing the N curve with high efficiency as compared to other biomass-based approaches. The SDM-based curve was the more reliable predictor of relative yield because of its low relative root mean square error in most of the growth stages. The curves developed in this study will provide diverse choices of indicators for establishing an integrated procedure of diagnosing wheat N status, and improving the accuracy and efficiency of wheat N fertilizer management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Crop Production)
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