Mineral nitrogen dynamics in soil during sugar beet and winter wheat crop growth

Marchetti, R. and Castelli, F. (2011) Mineral nitrogen dynamics in soil during sugar beet and winter wheat crop growth. European Journal of Agronomy, 35 (1). pp. 13-21.

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Nitrogen (N) is the crop nutrient which most directly influences the production and quality of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris L., SB) root. It is therefore important to accurately estimate the amount of N to be supplied to the crop. Past research has focused on predicting the amount of N available at the beginning of the growth season, whereas the amount of N in soil during crop growth is less considered. The aim of this work was to improve our knowledge ofNavailability for SB during the crop growth season, by monitoring the mineral N content in the cultivated soil layer in the spring-early summer period. The N dynamics in soil under rain-fed SB was compared to that under winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L., WW). Three experiments were carried out in three locations of the Po Valley, North Eastern Italy, on silty clay (San Prospero, Modena, 2004), silty clay loam (Rovigo, 2006), and loam (Bovolone, Verona, 2008) soils. The experimental design was a strip-plot, with crops (SB, WW) in the main plots and three N rates in the sub-plots (0, 40 and 80 kgNha−1 for SB and 80, 120 and 200 kgNha−1 for WW, at San Prospero; 0, 60 and 120 kgNha−1 for both crops, at Rovigo and Bovolone). Increasing N rates did not influence crop N removal, or only slightly increased it. In the period of simultaneous crop growth, in the three locations, the mean mineralNcontent of the soil samples under SB was on average more than twice that underWW, even though crop N removal by SB was on average higher than that ofWW(more than twice, at Rovigo, and up to three times, at Bovolone). Our results suggest that N recommendations should be formulated by taking into account, besides the usually considered N balance terms, the soil N availability linked to specific crop management and growth patterns.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work was financially supported by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies (MiPAAF), partly within the framework of the project “Sugar beet improvement for the Mediterranean environment”, and by C.R.A.
Uncontrolled Keywords: N recommendations, soil mineral N, crop N uptake, N balance
Author Affiliation: CRA, Research Unit for Swine Husbandry, Via Beccastecca, 345, 41018 San Cesario s/P (MO), Italy
Subjects: Plant Production
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2012 05:41
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 05:42
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2011.03.003
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/6992

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