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Response of maize growth and yield to different irrigation and fertilization regimes under sprinkler irrigation in semi-arid region

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

Citation:  Paper number  131618700,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Jiangli Wen, Jiusheng Li, Yanfeng Li
Keywords:   Irrigation regimes Lateral move sprinkler system Maize Nitrogen Sprinkler irrigation Yield.

Abstract. Farmers are encouraged to shift conventional surface irrigation to sprinkler irrigation in semi-arid regions of China to cope with the decreasing availability of water for agricultural irrigation and frequent occurrence of droughts. This study was aimed at providing an optimal management practice of irrigation and fertilization for sprinkler irrigation of maize. The experiments were conducted on a 14.8 ha field with sandy soil irrigated by a one-span (85.5 m) lateral move sprinkler system in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Three irrigation levels of 40, 70, and 100% of full irrigation (referred to as I1, I2, and I3, respectively) and four nitrogen rate of 80, 160, 240, and 320 kg ha-1 (referred to as N1, N2, N3, and N4, respectively) were tested using a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. Irrigation level demonstrated a substantially more important influence on plant height, leaf area index (LAI), dry matter above ground, and yield than nitrogen applied. A higher irrigation level produced a significantly greater plant height, LAI, dry matter above ground, and yield. The yield averaged over the four nitrogen rates for the full irrigation (100%) level was 19.3% and 5.3% greater than the 40% irrigation level and the 70% irrigation level, respectively. For a given irrigation level, the nitrogen rate of 160 kg ha-1 (N2) usually gave a slightly higher yield than the other three nitrogen levels. A management practice of nitrogen rate of 160 kg ha-1 and 100% full irrigation was recommended by the current study to obtain a high production at a relatively low fertilizer input.

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