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Fertiliser strategies for improved nutrient use efficiency on sandy soils in high rainfall regimes

Sitthaphanit, S., Limpinuntana, V., Toomsan, B., Panchaban, S. and Bell, R.W. (2009) Fertiliser strategies for improved nutrient use efficiency on sandy soils in high rainfall regimes. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 85 (2). pp. 123-139.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10705-009-9253-z
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Abstract

Fertiliser application strategies for maize (Zeamays L.) production on sandy soils under high rainfall regimes need to be carefully designed to minimise nutrient losses through leaching and maximise crop yield. Experiments were conducted to determine N, P, and K leaching in sandy soils with 3-6% clay in surface layers under maize production, and the effectiveness of different N, P, and K fertiliser timing and splitting strategies on leaching of N, P, and K and on maize yield. In a column experiment on an Oxic Paleustult (Korat series) with 3% clay, leaching of N, P, and K from fertiliser (114N-17P-22K in kg ha-1) was significant under simulated rainfall, but decreased to negligible levels with 3-5 split applications of fertiliser. Maize N and K uptake increased with 3-5 split applications, but not P uptake. Despite continued intense rainfall and further fertilizer additions, leaching was not recorded after day 30, and this was attributed to the effect of plant water uptake on reducing deep drainage. Split applications of fertilizer maintained NP and K in the 0-30 cm layer during 30-60 days when maize nutrient demand was likely to be at its highest, while in the recommended fertilizer regime NPK in the surface layers declined after 30 days. In a field experiment on an Oxic Paleustult (Korat series) with 6% clay, 3-4 splits of fertiliser increased N and K uptake and increased maize yields from 3.3 to 4.5 Mg ha-1. Postponing basal fertiliser application from pre-planting to 7-15 days after emergence increased uptake of N, P, and K and grain yield emphasising the greater risk of nutrient losses from fertiliser applied at planting than later. Strategies designed to reduce the amount of nutrients applied as fertiliser at planting, such as split application and postponing basal application can decrease the risk of leaching of N, P, and K from fertiliser and improve nutrient use efficiency, and grain yield of maize on sandy soils under high growing season rainfall regimes.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3320
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