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Effect of irrigation and fertilization regimes on grain yield, water and nitrogen productivity of mulching cultivated maize (Zea mays L.) in the Hetao Irrigation District of China

Author:
Li, Changjian, Xiong, Yunwu, Cui, Zhen, Huang, Quanzhong, Xu, Xu, Han, Wenguang, Huang, Guanhua
Source:
Agricultural water management 2020 v.232 pp. 106065
ISSN:
0378-3774
Subject:
Zea mays, border irrigation, corn, environmental factors, farmers, fertilizer rates, field experimentation, grain yield, groundwater, irrigation water, microirrigation, mulching, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, rhizosphere, semiarid zones, silt loam soils, soil water, soil water storage, sustainable development, tensiometers, China
Abstract:
Irrigation and fertilizer management are essential for sustainable development of agriculture in the arid and semiarid regions. In order to obtain high yield production, over irrigation and fertilization are frequently conducted by the farmer which results in a series of environmental problems in particular in the shallow groundwater areas. In this paper, two-year field experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of irrigation and fertilization regimes on grain yield, water and nitrogen productivity of mulching cultivated maize (Zea mays L.) in the Hetao Irrigation District of China. Two irrigation methods, i.e., drip and border irrigation, with different schedules were manipulated in silt loam soil. The border irrigation included two/three different water levels and drip irrigation was triggered by a tensiometer located at a depth of 25 cm with different matric potentials (−15, −25 and −35 kPa). Three different nitrogen fertilization levels (350, 250 and 150 kg ha⁻¹) were applied under drip irrigation controlled by the matric potential of −25 kPa. Soil water storage variation indicated that the active root zone concentrated at a depth of 35−60 cm in the border irrigated plots and 25−45 cm in the drip irrigated plots. Around 16 % of irrigated water (71 out of 450 mm) and 18 % of supplied nitrogen fertilizer (64 out of 350 kg ha⁻¹) were percolated into deeper zone for the farmer’s irrigation and fertilization schedules. Border irrigation water reduced from 450 to 315 mm could decrease the deep percolation without yield reduction. Almost no deep percolation was detected in drip irrigation for three different matric potential controls. The highest yield, water and nitrogen productivity obtained from the drip irrigated plots triggered by matric potential of −15 kPa. Considering yield, water and nitrogen productivity, environmental factors and farmer’s net-profit, drip irrigation at the matric potential of −15 kPa with 250 kg ha⁻¹ nitrogen fertilizer or border irrigation of 315 mm is recommended for mulching cultivated maize in silt loam soil in the Hetao Irrigation District. The nitrogen fertilizer schedule in border irrigation is desirable for optimal application.
Agid:
6830363