Pedosphere 26(2): 137--147, 2016
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2016 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Improving yield and nitrogen use efficiency simultaneously for maize and wheat in China: A review
MENG Qing-Feng1,2 , YUE Shan-Chao1 , HOU Peng1,2 , CUI Zhen-Ling1 and CHEN Xin-Ping1
1China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193 (China)
2Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081 (China)
      Achieving both high yield and high nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) simultaneously has become a major challenge with increased global demand for food, depletion of natural resources, and deterioration of environment. As the greatest consumers of N fertilizer in the world, Chinese farmers have overused N and there has been poor synchrony between crop N demand and N supply because of limited understanding of the N uptake-yield relationship. To address this problem, this study evaluated the total and dynamic N requirement for different yield ranges of two major crops (maize and wheat), and suggested improvements to N management strategies. Whole-plant N aboveground uptake requirement per grain yield (N req) initially deceased with grain yield improvement and then stagnated, and yet most farmers still believed that more fertilizer and higher grain yield were synonymous. When maize yield increased from < 7.5 to > 12.0 Mg ha-1, Nreq decreased from 19.8 to 17.0 kg Mg-1 grain. For wheat, it decreased from 27.1 kg Mg-1 grain for grain yield < 4.5 Mg ha-1 to 22.7 kg Mg-1 grain for yield > 9.0 Mg ha-1. Meanwhile, the percentage of dry matter and N accumulation in the middle-late growing season increased significantly with grain yield, which indicated that N fertilization should be concentrated in the middle-late stage to match crop demand while farmers often applied the majority of N fertilizer either before sowing or during early growth stages. We accordingly developed an integrated soil-crop system management strategy that simultaneously increases both grain yield and NUE.
Key Words:  crop N requirement, high yield, integrated soil-crop system management, N application timing, N demand
Citation: Meng, Q. F., Yue, S. C., Hou, P., Cui, Z. L. and Chen, X. P. 2016. Improving yield and nitrogen use efficiency simultaneously for maize and wheat in China: A review. Pedosphere. 26(2): 137-147.
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