Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Improving Dryland Cropping System Nitrogen Balance with No-Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilization

Version 1 : Received: 16 September 2018 / Approved: 17 September 2018 / Online: 17 September 2018 (14:21:48 CEST)

How to cite: Sainju, U.; Ghimire, R.; Pradhan, G. Improving Dryland Cropping System Nitrogen Balance with No-Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilization. Preprints 2018, 2018090315 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201809.0315.v1). Sainju, U.; Ghimire, R.; Pradhan, G. Improving Dryland Cropping System Nitrogen Balance with No-Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilization. Preprints 2018, 2018090315 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201809.0315.v1).

Abstract

Studies on N balance due to N inputs and outputs and soil N retention to measure cropping system performance and environmental sustainability are limited due to the complexity of measurements of some parameters. We measured N balance based on N inputs and outputs and soil N retention under dryland agroecosystem affected by cropping system and N fertilization from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Great Plains, USA. Cropping systems were conventional tillage barley (Hordeum vulgaris L.)-fallow (CTB-F), no-tillage barley-fallow (NTB-F), no-tillage barley-pea (Pisum sativum L.) (NTB-P), and no-tillage continuous barley (NTCB). Nitrogen rates to barley were 0, 40, 80, and 120 kg N ha-1. Total N input due to N fertilization, pea N fixation, soil N mineralization, atmospheric N deposition, nonsymbiotic N fixation, and crop seed N and total N output due to grain N removal, denitrification, volatilization, N leaching, gaseous N (NOx) emissions, surface runoff, and plant senescence were 28 to 37% greater with NTB-P and NTCB than CTB-F and NTB-F. Total N input and output also increased with increased N rate. Nitrogen sequestration rate at 0 to 10 cm averaged 22 kg N ha-1 yr-1 for all treatments. Nitrogen deficit ranged from 5 to 16 kg N ha-1 yr-1, with greater deficits for CTB-F and NTB-P and higher N rates. Because of increased grain N removal and reduced N loss to the environment and N fertilizer requirement, NTB-P with 40 kg N ha-1 can enhance agronomic performance and environmental sustainability while reducing N inputs compared to other management practices.

Subject Areas

Dryland cropping system; Management practices; Nitrogen budget; Nitrogen input; Nitrogen output.

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