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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2021, Vol. 20 Issue (2): 554-564    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63315-9
Section 4: Effective management strategies for closing yield and efficiency gaps Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Differences of yield and nitrogen use efficiency under different applications of slow release fertilizer in spring maize
LI Guang-hao*, CHENG Gui-gen*, LU Wei-ping, LU Da-lei
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology/Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Cultivation and Physiology/Agricultural College, Yangzhou University/Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for Modern Production Technology of Grain Crops, Yangzhou 225009, P.R.China
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Abstract  Excessive or insufficient application of fertilizer has raised broader concerns regarding soil and environmental degradation. One-time application of slow release fertilizer (SF) has been widely used to reduce yield gap with potential maize yield and improve nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). A 2-year field experiment (2018–2019) was conducted to evaluate the effects of SF rates from 0 to 405 kg N ha–1 (named F0, SF225, SF270, SF315, SF360, and SF405) and 405 kg N ha–1 of common fertilizer (CF405) on the grain yield, biomass and N accumulation, enzymatic activities related with carbon–nitrogen metabolism, NUE and economic analysis. Results indicated that the highest grain yields, NUEs and economic returns were achieved at SF360 in both varieties. The enzymatic activities related with carbon–nitrogen metabolism, pre- and post-silking accumulation of biomass and N increased with increasing SF rate, and they were the highest at SF360 and SF405. The grain yield at SF360 had no significant difference with that at SF405. However, the N partial factor productivity, N agronomic efficiency and N recovery efficiency at SF360 were 9.8, 6.6 and 8.9% higher than that at SF405. The results also indicated that the average grain yields, NUE and economic benefit at SF405 were 5.2, 12.3 and 18.1% higher than that at CF405. In conclusion, decreasing N rate from 405 kg ha–1 (CF) to 360 kg ha–1 (SF) could effectively reduce the yield gap between realized and potential maize yields. The N decreased by 11.1%, but the yield, NUE and economic benefit increased by 3.2, 22.2 and 17.5%, which created a simple, efficient and business-friendly system for spring maize production in Jiangsu Province, China.
Keywords:  spring maize       grain yield       slow release fertilizer       nitrogen use efficiency       economic benefit  
Received: 30 March 2020   Accepted:
Fund: We would like to acknowledge the financial support from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0300109), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31771709), the Jiangsu Agricultural Industry Technology System of China (JATS [2019]458), the High-end Talent Support Program of Yangzhou University, China, and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, China.
Corresponding Authors:  LU Da-lei, E-mail:    

Cite this article: 

LI Guang-hao, CHENG Gui-gen, LU Wei-ping, LU Da-lei. 2021. Differences of yield and nitrogen use efficiency under different applications of slow release fertilizer in spring maize. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(2): 554-564.

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