On-farm research to evaluate the productivity and nitrogen (N) nutrition of a rice ( Oryza sativa L.)–wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) cropping system was conducted with 21 farmers in the piedmont of Nepal and with 21 farmers in northwest Bangladesh. In Nepal, two levels of N-fertilizer (0–22–42 and 100–22–42 kg N–P–K ha −1 ) and farmers’ nutrient management practices were tested in the rice season, and three levels of N (0–22–42, 70–22–42, and 100–22–42) and farmers’ practices were evaluated in the wheat season. The treatments in Bangladesh included a researchers managed minus-N plot (0–22–42) and the farmers’ practices. Rice and wheat yields were higher in all treatments than the 0–22–42 control plots, with the exception of rice with the farmers’ practices at one location in Bangladesh. The researchers’ treatment of 100–22–42 in Nepal resulted in larger yields of both rice and wheat than the farmers’ practices, indicating that farmers’ rates of N-fertilizer (mean 49 kg N ha −1 ) were too low. Delaying wheat seeding reduced yields in the fertilized plots in both countries, especially as N-fertilizer dose increased. Soil N-supplying capacities (SNSC), measured as total N accumulation from the zero-N plots (0–22–42), and grain yields without N additions were greater for rice than for wheat in both Nepal and Bangladesh. Higher SNSC in rice was probably due to greater mineralization of soil organic N in the warm, moist conditions of the monsoon season than in the cooler, drier wheat season. However, SNSC was not correlated with total soil N, two soil N availability tests (hot KCl-extractable NH 4 + or 7-day anaerobic incubation), exchangeable NH 4 + or NO 3 − . Wheat in Nepal had greater N-recovery efficiency, agronomic efficiency of N, and physiological efficiency of N than rice. Nitrogen internal-use efficiency of rice for all treatments in both countries was within published ranges of maximum sufficiency and maximum dilution. In wheat, the relationship between grain yield and N accumulation was linear indicating that mobilization of plant N to the grain was less affected by biotic and abiotic stresses than in rice.
Field Crops Research – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 1999
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