Please wait a minute...
Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2023, Vol. 22 Issue (3): 908-922    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.107
Agro-ecosystem & Environment Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Growth and nitrogen productivity of drip-irrigated winter wheat under different nitrogen fertigation strategies in the North China Plain

Sunusi Amin ABUBAKAR1, 2, 3, Abdoul Kader Mounkaila HAMANI1, 2, WANG Guang-shuai1#, LIU Hao1, Faisal MEHMOOD1, 2, Abubakar Sadiq ABDULLAHI3, GAO Yang1, DUAN Ai-wang1

1 Key Laboratory of Crop Water Use and Regulation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs/Farmland Irrigation Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Xinxiang 453002, P.R.China

2 Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R.China

3 Department of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi 740272, Nigeria

Download:  PDF in ScienceDirect  
Export:  BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      

过量施氮是华北冬小麦(Triticum aestivum L.生产过程中氮素流失和利用效率低下的主要原因。滴灌水肥一体化被认为是提高氮素利用效率、减少氮素损失的有效方法,然而由于缺乏科学的施氮制度限制了当下水肥一体化滴灌施肥应用效果。通过设置2年田间试验,设计了5个随水施氮(46% N尿素,240 kg ha-2)处理和1个缓释氮肥(43% N240 kg ha-1)处理,5个随水施氮制度分别是:N0-1000%在播种期,100%在拔节期/孕穗期),N25-7525%在播种期,75%在拔节期/孕穗期),N50-5050%在播种期,50%在拔节期/孕穗期),N75-2575%在播种期,25%在拔节期/孕穗期),N100-0100%在播种期,0%在拔节期/孕穗期)和缓控肥(100%在播种期)研究了不同水肥一体化施氮制度对滴灌冬小麦生长发育和产量的影响。研究结果显示:氮肥基/追比改变显著影响了冬小麦产量、产量组成、地上生物量(ABM)、水分利用效率(WUE)和氮肥偏生产力(NPEP)。相比其它处理,N50-50缓释氮肥处理效果最好,产量(8.848.85 t ha-1ABM20.6720.83 t ha-1)、WUE2.282.17 kg m-3)和NPFP36.8236.88 kg kg-1)。本研究结果表明,在华北地区冬小麦生产过程中运用滴灌水肥一体化施氮(最佳尿素基/追比为50:50综合成本较低,相比等量施用较为昂贵的缓释肥很有竞争力。虽然在冬小麦生产过程中单次施用缓释肥可以有效降低高额的人工成本,但是如今人力成本不断攀升的情况下,使用滴灌水肥一体化施氮(尿素基/追肥比为50:50)为华北农民获得冬小麦增产、增收提供了一种新型灌溉施肥方式。


Excessive application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer is the main cause of N loss and poor use efficiency in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production in the North China Plain (NCP).  Drip fertigation is considered to be an effective method for improving N use efficiency and reducing losses, while the performance of drip fertigation in winter wheat is limited by poor N scheduling.  A two-year field experiment was conducted to evaluate the growth, development and yield of drip-fertigated winter wheat under different split urea (46% N, 240 kg ha–1) applications.  The six treatments consisted of five fertigation N application scheduling programs and one slow-release fertilizer (SRF) application.  The five N scheduling treatments were N0–100 (0% at sowing and 100% at jointing/booting), N25–75 (25% at sowing and 75% at jointing and booting), N50–50 (50% at sowing and 50% at jointing/booting), N75–25 (75% at sowing and 25 at jointing/booting), and N100–0 (100% at sowing and 0% at jointing/booting).  The SRF (43% N, 240 kg ha–1) was only used as fertilizer at sowing.  Split N application significantly (P<0.05) affected wheat grain yield, yield components, aboveground biomass (ABM), water use efficiency (WUE) and nitrogen partial factor productivity (NPFP).  The N50–50 and SRF treatments respectively had the highest yield (8.84 and 8.85 t ha–1), ABM (20.67 and 20.83 t ha–1), WUE (2.28 and 2.17 kg m–3) and NPFP (36.82 and 36.88 kg kg–1).  This work provided substantial evidence that urea-N applied in equal splits between basal and topdressing doses compete economically with the highly expensive SRF for fertilization of winter wheat crops.  Although the single-dose SRF could reduce labor costs involved with the traditional method of manual spreading, the drip fertigation system used in this study with the N50–50 treatment provides an option for farmers to maintain wheat production in the NCP.

Keywords:  split nitrogen strategies       wheat yield       drip fertigation       water use efficiency       nitrogen use efficiency  
Received: 10 February 2022   Accepted: 28 April 2022

This research was funded by the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-03-19), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51879267 and 51709264), the Open Fund Projects of the Agricultural Environment Experimental Station of Minstry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China (FIRI2021040103), and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

About author:  Sunusi Amin ABUBAKAR, E-mail:; #Correspondence WANG Guang-shuai, Tel/Fax: +86-373-3393224, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Sunusi Amin ABUBAKAR, Abdoul Kader Mounkaila HAMANI, WANG Guang-shuai, LIU Hao, Faisal MEHMOOD, Abubakar Sadiq ABDULLAHI, GAO Yang, DUAN Ai-wang. 2023. Growth and nitrogen productivity of drip-irrigated winter wheat under different nitrogen fertigation strategies in the North China Plain. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 22(3): 908-922.

Allen R G, Pereira L S, Raes D, Smith M. 1998. Crop Evapotranspiration: Guidelines for Computing Crop Water Requirements. FAO, Rome, Italy.
Al-Rawajfeh A E, Alrbaihat R M, AlShamaileh E M. 2021. Characteristics and types of slow- and controlled-release fertilizers. In: Lewu F B, Volova T, Thomas S, Rakhimol K R, eds., Controlled Release Fertilizers for Sustainable Agriculture. Academic Press, India. pp. 57–78.
Bai Z, Ma L, Ma W, Qin W, Velthof G L, Oenema O, Zhang F. 2016. Changes in phosphorus use and losses in the food chain of China during 1950–2010 and forecasts for 2030. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 104, 361–372.
Behera S K, Panda R K. 2009. Effect of fertilization and irrigation schedule on water and fertilizer solute transport for wheat crop in a sub-humid sub-tropical region. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 130, 141–155.
Chen J, Lü S, Zhang Z, Zhao X, Li X, Ning P, Liu M. 2018. Environmentally friendly fertilizers: A review of materials used and their effects on the environment. Science of the Total Environment, 613–614, 829–839.
Chen J S, Wang G S, Kader A H M, Amin A S, Sun W J, Zhang Y Y, Liu Z D, Gao Y. 2021. Optimization of nitrogen fertilizer application with climate-smart agriculture in the North China Plain. Water, 13, 1–13.
Chilundo M, Joel A, Wesström I, Brito R, Messing I. 2016. Effects of reduced irrigation dose and slow release fertiliser on nitrogen use efficiency and crop yield in a semi-arid loamy sand. Agricultural Water Management, 168, 68–77.
Cui Z, Zhang F, Chen X, Li F, Tong Y. 2010. Using in-season nitrogen management and wheat cultivars to improve nitrogen use. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 75, 976–983.
Dar E A, Brar A S, Mishra S K, Singh K B. 2017. Simulating response of wheat to timing and depth of irrigation water in drip irrigation system using CERES-Wheat model. Field Crops Research, 214, 149–163.
Dong S, Zhang X, Chu J, Zheng F, Fei L, Dai X, He M. 2022. Optimized seeding rate and nitrogen topdressing ratio for simultaneous improvement of grain yield and bread-making quality in bread wheat sown on different dates. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 102, 360–369.
Duan J, Shao Y, He L, Li X, Hou G, Li S, Feng W, Zhu Y, Wang Y, Xie Y. 2019. Optimizing nitrogen management to achieve high yield, high nitrogen efficiency and low nitrogen emission in winter wheat. Science of the Total Environment, 697, 1–12.
Farooq M, Wahid A, Kobayashi N, Fujita D, Basra S M A. 2009. Plant drought stress: Effects, mechanisms and management. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 29, 153–188.
Gao Y, Duan A W, Sun J S, Li F, Liu Z G, Liu H, Liu Z D. 2009. Crop coefficient and water-use efficiency of winter wheat/spring maize strip intercropping. Field Crops Research, 111, 65–73.
Ghafoor I, Habib-ur-Rahman M, Ali M, Afzal M, Ahmed W, Gaiser T, Ghaffar A. 2021. Slow-release nitrogen fertilizers enhance growth, yield, NUE in wheat crop and reduce nitrogen losses under an arid environment. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 28, 43528–43543.
Jha S K, Gao Y, Liu H, Huang Z D, Wang G S, Liang Y P, Duan A W. 2017. Root development and water uptake in winter wheat under different irrigation methods and scheduling for North China. Agricultural Water Management, 182, 139–150.
Jha S K, Ramatshaba T S, Wang G S, Liang Y P, Liu H, Gao Y, Duan A W. 2019. Response of growth, yield and water use efficiency of winter wheat to different irrigation methods and scheduling in North China Plain. Agricultural Water Management, 217, 292–302.
Kaiser D E, Mallarino A P, Sawyer J E. 2010. Utilization of poultry manure phosphorus for corn production. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 74, 2211–2222.
Liang W X, Zhang Z C, Wen X X, Liao Y C, Liu Y. 2017. Effect of non-structural carbohydrate accumulation in the stem pre-anthesis on grain filling of wheat inferior grain. Field Crops Research, 211, 66–76.
Liu A D, Ma X L, Zhang Z, Liu J H, Luo D, Yang L R, Lv N, Zhang Y J, Yang G Z, Dong H Z. 2022. Single dose fertilization at reduced nitrogen rate improves nitrogen utilization without yield reduction in late-planted cotton under a wheat–cotton cropping system. Industrial Crops and Products, 176, 1–15.
Liu Z X, Gao F, Liu Y, Yang J Q, Zhen X Y, Li X X, Li Y, Zhao J H, Li J R, Qian B C, Yang D Q, Li X D. 2019. Timing and splitting of nitrogen fertilizer supply to increase crop yield and efficiency of nitrogen utilization in a wheat–peanut relay intercropping system in China. The Crop Journal, 7, 101–112.
Liu Z X, Zhao C, Zhao J H, Lai H J, Li X D. 2021. Improved fertiliser management to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions and ensure yields in a wheat–peanut relay intercropping system in China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2, 1–16.
Lu J S, Hu T T, Zhang B C, Wang L, Yang S H, Fan J L, Yan S C, Zhang F C. 2021. Nitrogen fertilizer management effects on soil nitrate leaching, grain yield and economic benefit of summer maize in Northwest China. Agricultural Water Management, 247, 1–10.
Ma Q, Wang M Y, Zheng G L, Yao Y, Tao R R, Zhu M, Ding J F, Li C Y, Guo W S, Zhu X K. 2021. Twice-split application of controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer met the nitrogen demand of winter wheat. Field Crops Research, 267, 1–9.
Mehmood F, Wang G S, Gao Y, Liang Y P, Chen J S, Si Z Y, Steve T R, Zain M, Shafeeq U R, Duan A W. 2019. Nitrous oxide emission from winter wheat field as responded to irrigation scheduling and irrigation methods in the North China Plain. Agricultural Water Management, 222, 367–374.
Mei X R, Zhong X L, Vincent V B, Liu X Y. 2013. Improving water use efficiency of wheat crop varieties in the North China Plain: Review and analysis. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 12, 1243–1250.
Phocaides A. 2007. Pressurized Irrigation Techniques. 2nd ed. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.
Pradhan S, Chopra U K, Bandyopadhyay K K, Singh R, Jain A K, Chand I. 2013. Effect of water and nitrogen management on water productivity and nitrogen use efficiency of wheat in a semi-arid environment. International Journal of Agricultural Sciences and Food Science Technology, 4, 727–732.
Rathore V S, Nathawat N S, Bhardwaj S, Sasidharan R P, Yadav B M, Kumar M, Santra P, Yadava N D, Yadav O P. 2017. Yield, water and nitrogen use efficiencies of sprinkler irrigated wheat grown under different irrigation and nitrogen levels in an arid region. Agricultural Water Management, 187, 232–245.
Rivera-Amado C, Trujillo-Negrellos E, Molero G, Reynolds M P, Sylvester-Bradley R, Foulkes M J. 2019. Optimizing dry-matter partitioning for increased spike growth, grain number and harvest index in spring wheat. Field Crops Research, 240, 154–167.
Sandhu O S, Gupta R K, Thind H S, Jat M L, Sidhu H S. 2019. Drip irrigation and nitrogen management for improving crop yields, nitrogen use efficiency and water productivity of maize–wheat system on permanent beds in north-west India. Agricultural Water Management, 219, 19–26.
Shan P F, Li D, Cai P H, Zheng K, Liu H W, Lu Y W, Li Z Y, Li Z H. 2022. Direct fabrication of cross-linking polymer coatings from monomers via Triethylamine gas-mediated thiol-ene chemistry for sustained fertilizers release. Progress in Organic Coatings, 162, 1–11.
Shen X J, Wang G S, Zeleke K T, Si Z Y, Chen J S, Gao Y. 2020. Crop water production functions for winter wheat with drip fertigation in the North China Plain. Agronomy, 10, 1–14.
Shirazi S M, Yusop Z, Zardari N H, Ismail Z. 2014. Effect of irrigation regimes and nitrogen levels on the growth and yield of wheat. Advances in Agriculture, 201, 1–6.
Si Z Y, Zain M, Li S, Liu J M, Liang Y P, Gao Y, Duan A W. 2021. Optimizing nitrogen application for drip-irrigated winter wheat using the DSSAT-CERES-Wheat model. Agricultural Water Management, 244, 1–10.
Si Z Y, Zain M, Mehmood F, Wang G S, Gao Y, Duan A W. 2020. Effects of nitrogen application rate and irrigation regime on growth, yield, and water-nitrogen use efficiency of drip-irrigated winter wheat in the North China Plain. Agricultural Water Management, 231, 1–8.
Sui J, Wang J D, Gong S H, Xu D, Zhang Y Q. 2015. Effect of nitrogen and irrigation application on water movement and nitrogen transport for a wheat crop under drip irrigation in the North China Plain. Water, 7, 6651–6672.
Trenkel M E. 2010. Slow and Controlled-Release and Stabilized Fertilizers. International Fertilizer Industry Association, Paris, France.
Vahamidis P, Karamanos A J, Economou G. 2019. Grain number determination in durum wheat as affected by drought stress: An analysis at spike and spikelet level. Annals of Applied Biology, 174, 190–208.
Wang B, Zhang Y H, Hao B Z, Xu X X, Zhao Z G, Wang Z M, Xue Q W. 2016. Grain yield and water use efficiency in extremely-late sown winter wheat cultivars under two irrigation regimes in the North China Plain. PLoS ONE, 11, 1–14.
Wu W, Ma B L, Fan J J, Sun M, Yi Y, Guo W S, Voldeng H D. 2019. Management of nitrogen fertilization to balance reducing lodging risk and increasing yield and protein content in spring wheat. Field Crops Research, 241, 1–13.
Wu Y, Bian S F, Liu Z M, Wang L C, Wang Y J, Xu, W H, Zhou Y. 2021. Drip irrigation incorporating water conservation measures: Effects on soil water-nitrogen utilization, root traits and grain production of spring maize in semi-arid areas. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20, 3127–3142.
Xu X X, Zhang M, Li J P, Liu Z Q, Zhao Z G, Zhang Y H. 2018. Improving water use efficiency and grain yield of winter wheat by optimizing irrigations in the North China Plain. Field Crops Research, 221, 219–227.
Yang Y C, Zhang M, Zheng L, Cheng D D, Liu M, Geng Y Q. 2011. Controlled release urea improved nitrogen use efficiency, yield, and quality of wheat. Agronomy Journal, 103, 479–485.
Yoseftabar S. 2012. Effect of split application of nitrogen fertilizer on leaf color chart values in hybrid rice (GRH1). International Journal of Biology, 5, 79–84.
Zain M, Si Z Y, Chen J S, Mehmood F, Rahman S U, Shah A N, Li S, Gao Y, Duan A W. 2021a. Suitable nitrogen application mode and lateral spacing for drip-irrigated winter wheat in North China Plain. PLoS ONE, 16, 1–19.
Zain M, Si Z Y, Li S, Gao Y, Mehmood F, Ur-rahman S, Kader M H A, Duan A W. 2021b. The coupled effects of irrigation scheduling and nitrogen fertilization mode on growth, yield and water use efficiency in drip-irrigated winter wheat. Sustainability, 13, 1–18.
Zhang G X, Zhao D H, Liu S J, Liao Y C, Han J. 2022. Can controlled-release urea replace the split application of normal urea in China? A meta-analysis based on crop grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency. Field Crops Research, 275, 1–11.
Zhang Y Q, Wang J D, Gong S H, Xu D, Sui J. 2017. Nitrogen fertigation effect on photosynthesis, grain yield and water use efficiency of winter wheat. Agricultural Water Management, 179, 277–287.
Zhang Z, Yu Z W, Zhang Y L, Shi Y. 2021. Split nitrogen fertilizer application improved grain yield in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) via modulating antioxidant capacity and 13C photosynthate mobilization under water-saving irrigation conditions. Ecological Processes, 10, 1–13.
Zhao R F, Chen X P, Zhang F S, Zhang H, Schröder J, Römheld V. 2006. Fertilization and nitrogen balance in a wheat–maize rotation system in North China. Agronomy Journal, 98, 938–945.
Zheng W K, Sui C L, Liu Z G, Geng J B, Tian X F, Yang X Y, Li C L, Zhang M. 2016. Long-term effects of controlled-release urea on crop yields and soil fertility under wheat–corn double cropping systems. Agronomy Journal, 108, 1703–1716.
Zhong Y Q W, and Shangguan Z P. 2014. Water consumption characteristics and water use efficiency of winter wheat under long-term nitrogen fertilization regimes in Northwest China. PLoS ONE, 9, 1–8.
Zhou Z J, Plauborg F, Liu F L, Kristensen K, Andersen M N. 2018. Yield and crop growth of table potato affected by different split-N fertigation regimes in sandy soil. European Journal of Agronomy, 92, 41–50.

[1] ZHANG Zhen-zhen, CHENG Shuang, FAN Peng, ZHOU Nian-bing, XING Zhi-peng, HU Ya-jie, XU Fang-fu, GUO Bao-wei, WEI Hai-yan, ZHANG Hong-cheng. Effects of sowing date and ecological points on yield and the temperature and radiation resources of semi-winter wheat[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(5): 1366-1380.
[2] WANG Xin-yu, YANG Guo-dong, XU Le, XIANG Hong-shun, YANG Chen, WANG Fei, PENG Shao-bing. Grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency of an ultrashort-duration variety grown under different nitrogen and seeding rates in direct-seeded and double-season rice in Central China[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(4): 1009-1020.
[3] FENG Xu-yu, PU Jing-xuan, LIU Hai-jun, WANG Dan, LIU Yu-hang, QIAO Shu-ting, LEI Tao, LIU Rong-hao. Effect of fertigation frequency on soil nitrogen distribution and tomato yield under alternate partial root-zone drip irrigation[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(3): 897-907.
[4] SONG Ke, QIN Qin, YANG Ye-feng, SUN Li-juan, SUN Ya-fei, ZHENG Xian-qing, LÜ Wei-guang, XUE Yong. Drip fertigation and plant hedgerows significantly reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses and maintain high fruit yields in intensive orchards[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(2): 598-610.
[5] ZHOU Qun, YUAN Rui, ZHANG Wei-yang, GU Jun-fei, LIU Li-jun, ZHANG Hao, WANG Zhi-qin, YANG Jian-chang. Grain yield, nitrogen use efficiency and physiological performance of indica/japonica hybrid rice in response to various nitrogen rates[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(1): 63-79.
[6] TIAN Chang, SUN Ming-xue, ZHOU Xuan, LI Juan, XIE Gui-xian, YANG Xiang-dong, PENG Jian-wei. Increase in yield and nitrogen use efficiency of double rice with long-term application of controlled-release urea[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(7): 2106-2118.
[7] ZHU Kuan-yu, YAN Jia-qian, SHEN Yong, ZHANG Wei-yang, XU Yun-ji, WANG Zhi-qin, YANG Jian-chang. Deciphering the morpho–physiological traits for high yield potential in nitrogen efficient varieties (NEVs): A japonica rice case study[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(4): 947-963.
[8] LI Rui, CHAI Shou-xi, CHAI Yu-wei, LI Ya-wei, CHANG Lei, CHENG Hong-bo. Straw strips mulching: A sustainable technology of saving water and improving efficiency in dryland winter wheat production[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(12): 3556-3568.
[9] HUANG Li-ying, Li Xiao-xiao, ZHANG Yun-bo, Shah FAHAD, WANG Fei. dep1 improves rice grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency simultaneously by enhancing nitrogen and dry matter translocation[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(11): 3185-3198.
[10] ZHAO Can, HUANG Heng, QIAN Zi-hui, JIANG Heng-xin, LIU Guang-ming, XU Ke, HU Ya-jie, DAI Qi-gen, HUO Zhong-yang. Effect of side deep placement of nitrogen on yield and nitrogen use efficiency of single season late japonica rice[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(6): 1487-1502.
[11] ZHAI Li-chao, Lü Li-hua, DONG Zhi-qiang, ZHANG Li-hua, ZHANG Jing-ting, JIA Xiu-ling, ZHANG Zheng-bin. The water-saving potential of using micro-sprinkling irrigation for winter wheat production on the North China Plain[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(6): 1687-1700.
[12] YAO Feng-mei, LI Qin-ying, ZENG Rui-yun, SHI Si-qi. Effects of different agricultural treatments on narrowing winter wheat yield gap and nitrogen use efficiency in China[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(2): 383-394.
[13] LI Guang-hao, CHENG Gui-gen, LU Wei-ping, LU Da-lei. Differences of yield and nitrogen use efficiency under different applications of slow release fertilizer in spring maize[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(2): 554-564.
[14] ZHU Cong-hua, OUYANG Yu-yuan, DIAO You, YU Jun-qi, LUO Xi, ZHENG Jia-guo, LI Xu-yi. Effects of mechanized deep placement of nitrogen fertilizer rate and type on rice yield and nitrogen use efficiency in Chuanxi Plain, China[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(2): 581-592.
[15] WU Fen, ZHAI Li-chao, XU Ping, ZHANG Zheng-bin, Elamin Hafiz BAILLO, Lemessa Negasa TOLOSA, Roy Njoroge KIMOTHO, JIA Xiu-ling, GUO Hai-qian. Effects of deep vertical rotary tillage on the grain yield and resource use efficiency of winter wheat in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain of China[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(2): 593-605.
No Suggested Reading articles found!