Lint yield and nitrogen use efficiency of field-grown cotton vary with soil salinity and nitrogen application rate

Understanding salinity and fertilizer interaction is of great economic importance to improving crop yield and fertilizer use efficiency

Dongmei Zhang; Weijiang Li; Chengsong Xin; Wei Tang; A. Egrinya Eneji; Hezhong Dong

2012

Key concepts

Scholarcy highlights

  • Understanding salinity and fertilizer interaction is of great economic importance to improving crop yield and fertilizer use efficiency
  • The high-salinity soil produced 35% lower biological yield but 8.9% higher harvest index than the moderate-salinity soil
  • Biological yields were increased by 30% at low N rate, 35% at moderate N rate and 37% at high N rate
  • Moderate N rate was superior to high N rate but comparable to low rate based on agronomic N use efficiency, physiological NUE, internal NUE and N recovery efficiency under moderate salinity; under high salinity, the low N rate produced the greatest aNUE and NRE, and higher pNUE and iNUE than high N rate
  • Our overall results supported the use of moderate N rate for moderate salinity cotton fields and low N rate for high salinity fields in the saline Yellow River Delta and other cotton-growing areas with similar ecologies
  • ► Nitrogen rate effects on cotton yield and N use efficiency were studied in saline fields. ► Maximum lint yield and NUE could be achieved with moderate N rate under weak salinity or low N rate under strong salinity. ► Rational application of nitrogen fertilizer is extremely important to increasing yield and N use efficiency and reducing fertilizer cost in saline field conditions

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