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Ridge and Furrow Method of Rainfall Concentration For Fertilizer Use Efficiency in Farmland Under Semiarid Conditions

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 25(6): 905-913. (doi: 10.13031/2013.29239) @2009
Authors:   X. Ren, X. Chen, Z. Jia
Keywords:   Rainfall concentration, Ridge and furrow, Nutrient use efficiency, Water use efficiency, Corn

A plastic-covered ridge and furrow farming of rainfall concentration (RC) system was comprised of two elements: the plastic-covered ridges served as a rainfall harvesting zone and the furrows as a planting zone. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of RC on farmland fertilizer utilization under three rainfall levels (230, 340, and 440 mm) during the corn growing seasons of 2006 and 2007. The results indicated that with the rainfalls ranging within 230-440 mm, the RC system can increase grain yields and nutrient use efficiency (NUE, including NUEN, NUEP, and NUEK) of corn. In 2006, when compared to conventional flat (CF) practice, the grain yield, water use efficiency (WUE), NUEN, NUEP, and NUEK in the RC system increased by 75.4%, 73.3%, 36.1%, 43.0%, and 49.1%, respectively, at 230-mm rainfall, and by 36.7%, 40.2%, 25.0%, 18.2%, and 12.0%, respectively, at 340-mm rainfall, but there was no significant difference between the RC440 and CF440 patterns. In 2007, the grain yield, WUE, NUEN, NUEP, and NUEK were 82.8%, 77.4%, 39.4%, 36.9% and 38.2%, respectively, higher in the RC230 plots than in the CF230 plots, 43.4%, 43.1%, 17.2%, 16.1%, and 14.0%, respectively, higher in the RC340 plots than in the CF340 plots, and the grain yield, WUE and NUEN were 11.2%, 9.5%, and 14.0%, respectively, higher in the RC440 plots than in the CF440 plots, but there was no significant difference for NUEP and NUEK between RC440 and CF440. In conclusion, we suggest that the optimal rainfall upper limit for RC system should be below 440-mm rainfall amounts to improve the fertilizer use efficiency in farmland of corn plants in this experiment.

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