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Dicyandiamide application improved nitrogen use efficiency and decreased nitrogen losses in wheat-maize crop rotation in Loess Plateau

Raza, Sajjad, Chen, Zhujun, Ahmed, Muneer, Afzal, Muhammad Rahil, Aziz, Tariq, Zhou, Jianbin
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2019 v.65 no.4 pp. 450-464
ammonium nitrogen, corn, crop rotation, crops, dicyandiamide, nitrate nitrogen, nitrification, nitrification inhibitors, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, nutrient use efficiency, pH, soil profiles, wheat, China
Inhibition of nitrification as a mitigation tool to abate nitrogen (N) losses and improve N use efficiency (NUE) is a promising technology. Nitrification inhibitor (dicyandiamide, DCD) was evaluated in two consecutive wheat-maize rotations (2015–2017), with two different N fertilizer levels applied in wheat (160, 220 kg N ha⁻¹) and maize (180, 280 kg N ha⁻¹). More NH₄⁺-N contents (101% and 102% in wheat and 74% and 73% in maize) and less NO₃–-N contents (37% and 43% in wheat and 46% and 57% in maize) were observed at both N levels treated with DCD compared to without DCD. Higher pH, lower EC and reduced NO₃–-N accumulation were the other benefits of DCD. The NO₃–-N accumulation within the 0–200 cm soil profile was significantly less at both N levels with DCD (66 mg kg⁻¹ and 121 mg kg⁻¹) compared to without DCD (96 mg kg⁻¹ and 169 mg kg⁻¹). Application of DCD also improved the growth and yield in both crops. Increase in NUE from 38% to 49% in wheat and 27% to 33% in maize with DCD at higher N level was also observed. Overall, the effectiveness of DCD in retarding the nitrification process was higher in wheat than maize.