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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Cover crops affect the partial nitrogen balance in a maize-forage cropping system

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Rocha, Kassiano F. [1] ; de Souza, Murilo [1] ; Almeida, Danilo S. [1] ; Chadwick, David R. [2] ; Jones, Davey L. [2, 3] ; Mooney, Sacha J. [4] ; Rosolem, Ciro A. [1]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Sao Paulo State Univ, Sch Agr Sci, Dept Crop Sci, Univ Av 3780, BR-18610034 Botucatu, SP - Brazil
[2] Bangor Univ, Sch Nat Sci, Bangor LL57 2UW, Gwynedd - Wales
[3] Univ Western Australia, UWA Sch Agr & Environm, Crawley, WA 6009 - Australia
[4] Univ Nottingham, Fac Sci, Div Agr & Environm Sci, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough LE12 SRB, Leics - England
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: Geoderma; v. 360, FEB 15 2019.
Web of Science Citations: 1

Part of the nitrogen (N) fertilizer applied to crops is lost to the environment, contributing to global warming, eutrophication, and groundwater contamination. However, low N supply stimulates soil organic N turnover and carbon (C) loss, since the soil N/C ratio in soil is quasi-constant, ultimately resulting in land degradation. Grasses such as ruzigrass (Urochloa ruziziensis) grown as winter pasture or a cover crop in rotation with maize (Zea mays) can reduce N leaching, however, this may induce N deficiency and depress yields in the subsequent maize crop. Despite the potential to decrease N loss, this rotation may negatively affect the overall N balance of the cropping system. However, this remains poorly quantified. To test this hypothesis, maize, fertilized with zero to 210 kg N ha(-1), was grown after ruzigrass, palisade grass (Urochloa brizanta) and Guinea grass (Pannicum maximum), and the N inputs, outputs and partial N balance determined. Despite the intrinsically poor soil quality associated with the tropical Ultisol, maize grown after the grasses was efficient in acquiring N, resulting in a negative N balance even when 210 kg ha(-1) of N was applied after Guinea grass. Losses by leaching, N2O emission and NH3 volatilization did not exceed 13.8 kg ha(-1) irrespective of the grass type. Despite a similar N loss among grasses, Guinea grass resulted in a higher N export in the maize grain due to a higher yield, resulting in a more negative N balance. Soil N depletion can lead to C loss, which can result in land degradation. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/50305-8 - A virtual joint centre to deliver enhanced nitrogen use efficiency via an integrated soil-plant systems approach for the UK & Brazil
Grantee:Ciro Antonio Rosolem
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants