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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 6, p. 1687-1693
    Received: June 20, 2012
    Published: September 24, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): cuizl@cau.edu.cn
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Change in Nitrogen Requirement with Increasing Grain Yield for Winter Wheat

  1. Shanchao Yuea,
  2. Qingfeng Menga,
  3. Rongfang Zhaob,
  4. Youliang Yec,
  5. Fusuo Zhanga,
  6. Zhenling Cui *a and
  7. Xinping Chen *a
  1. a Center for Resources, Environment and Food Security, China Agricultural Univ., Beijing 100193, China
    b College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Zhongkai Univ.of Agriculture and Engineering, Guangzhou 510225, China
    c College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Henan Agricultural Univ., Zhengzhou 450000, China


Overestimates of N requirements have led to excessive N application and serious environmental pollution in intensively managed agricultural systems. A database comprising 1395 measurements was developed from 2000 to 2011 using 88 on-farm and station experiments conducted in five key winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) domains in northern China. The database was created to evaluate the relationship between aboveground N uptake and grain yield with different N treatments and to quantify N requirements per Mg grain at different grain yield levels. Across all sites, wheat grain yield ranged from 1.6 to 11.8 Mg ha−1. The nitrogen requirement per megagram grain yield (Nreq.) increased with N supply from 20.8 kg under the treatment without N fertilizer to 25.7 kg under the excess N treatment. For the optimal N fertilizer treatment, the average Nreq. was 24.3 kg and it declined with increasing grain yield. For the yield ranges between <4.5 and 6.0 to 7.5 Mg ha−1, Nreq. decreased from 27.1 to 24.5 kg due to increasing harvest index (HI; from 0.39–0.46) and decreasing grain N concentration (from 2.41 to 2.21%). For the yield ranges between 6.0 to 7.5 and 9.0 to 10.5 Mg ha−1, Nreq. decreased from 24.5 to 22.7 kg due to decreasing grain N concentration (from 2.21 to 2.00%). For the yield ranges between 9.0 to 10.5 and >10.5 Mg ha−1, Nreq. changed little due to stability in grain N concentrations and HI. In conclusion, the N requirement of a crop was affected by both the amount of N supplied and the grain yield.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © 2012 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc.