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Multi-Chemical Regulation Technology Applied to Dryland Maize (Zea mays L.) Production in Northern China

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 58(6): 1535-1546. (doi: 10.13031/trans.58.11144) @2015
Authors:   Renkuan Liao, Shumei Ren, Peiling Yang
Keywords:   Dryland, Fertilizer, Fulvic acid, Northern China, polyacrylamide, Superabsorbent polymer, Water.

Abstract. Multi-chemical regulation technology uses three common chemical preparations, i.e., polyacrylamide (PAM), superabsorbent polymer (SAP), and fulvic acid (FA), applied in agricultural production to regulate the use of water and fertilizer in a soil-crop system. The goal of this technology is to increase the efficiency of water and fertilizer utilization for crops and improve crop yield, which is constructively significant to agriculture in the arid lands of northern China. In this article, a local crop of rainfed maize ( L.) in the dry farmland in northern China was selected as the research subject. Nine types of combined application modes using PAM, SAP, and FA and twenty types of combined application modes using SAP and FA were designed to study the effect of multi-chemical regulation technology on soil water, fertilizer usage, and crop yield. The duration of the field experiment was three years (i.e., 2012 to 2014), and the experiment assessed the overall effects of multi-chemical regulation technology. The results showed that the treatment groups exhibited significant effects on the water and fertilizer content in the soil and on the crop yield compared to the control group that received no chemical preparations. Applications using a combination of SAP and FA produced the highest yield increase in the rainfed maize field and effectively reduced the amount of irrigation and fertilizer needed to produce the crop. Based on the developed regression model, a combination of 93.38 kg km-2 SAP, 23.03 kg km-2 FA, and 376.88 kg km-2 fertilizer was expected to produce the highest maize yield (i.e., 1.36 kg m-2); this optimal configuration was verified with a field verification test (RMSE = 0.03).

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