An ammoniated straw incorporation increased biomass production and water use efficiency in an annual wheat-maize rotation system in semi-arid China

Yufeng Zou, Hao Feng, Shufang Wu, Qin'ge Dong, Kadambot H.M. Siddique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Water shortage and excessive chemical fertilizers application result in low soil water and nutrient availability and limit crop production in the Loess Plateau of Northwest China. Ammoniated straw incorporation with N fertilization may be an efficient strategy to maintain agricultural sustainability. However, the interactive effects of straw incorporation and N fertilizer on the biomass water use efficiency (WUE) in the winter wheat–summer maize rotation system remain unclear. A 3-year field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of combining ammoniated straw incorporation and N fertilizer on soil water, biomass yield and biomass water use efficiency (WUE) in an annual summer maize (Zea mays L.)—Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system. There were three treatments: (i) long straw (5 cm) mulching with N fertilizer (CK), (ii) long straw with N fertilizer plowed into the soil (LP), and (iii) ammoniated long straw with N fertilizer plowed into the soil (ALP). Compared with the CK treatment, LP and ALP led to a similar soil water storage capacity. ALP improved summer maize biomass yield and winter wheat biomass yield at the jointing-maturity stage. ALP improved summer maize WUE at the ten-leaf collar-tasseling stage and winter wheat WUE from the tillering stage to the maturity stage. Also, the ALP treatment increased the total water use efficiency (TWUE) of winter wheat by 4.1–22.0%. Overall, ammoniated straw incorporation produced the most favorable biomass yield and WUE in the summer maize—Winter wheat rotation system in the Loess Plateau of China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number243
JournalAgronomy
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2020

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