The rice–wheat cropping system (RWCS), producing about 5–10 Mg ha–1 y–1 of grain, is the backbone of food‐crop production in South‐East Asia. However, this system shows signs of fatigue as indicated by declining yields, negative nitrogen (N) balances, and reduced responses to applied fertilizer at some research centers. The return of rice and wheat residues can recycle up to 20%–30% of the N absorbed by the crops. However, their wide C : N ratio can temporarily immobilize native and applied N. To overcome this immobilization, wheat‐straw application was supplemented with the incorporation of Sesbania green manure and mungbean residues, and their effects on productivity, agronomic N efficiency, and system's apparent N balances were studied. Combining the application of wheat straw with Sesbania green manure or mungbean residues increased cereal grain yield and agronomic N efficiency and improved the generally negative apparent N balances. The combined use of wheat straw and mungbean produced an additional 0.5–0.6 t ha–1 protein‐rich grain and thus appears to be the most promising residue‐management option for rice–wheat cropping systems in South Asia, provided that the transition cropping season between wheat harvest and rice transplanting is long enough.
Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2008
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