Long-term pig manure application reduces the requirement of chemical phosphorus and potassium in two rice-wheat sites in subtropical China
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Natural Sciences/Centre for Ecosystem Management
Producing optimal grain yields while reducing adverse environmental impacts of over-fertilization is essential in intensive, but sustainable, farming systems. We investigated the effects of long-term (1982–2005) application of chemical nitrogen (N), N + chemical phosphorus (P) and N + P + chemical potassium (K) on grain yield, nitrogen recovery efficiency (NRE) and N losses in two rice–wheat sites in subtropical China where pig manure was applied (Suining and Wuchang). Four (Suining) or five (Wuchang) treatments were examined: no-fertilizer, chemical N plus manure (NM), chemical NP plus manure (NPM), chemical NPK plus manure (NPKM) or chemical NPK plus 1.6 times manure (NPKhM, Wuchang only). Fertilizers resulted in 1.5–2.5 times higher grain yields than no-fertilizer, which led to a NRE in the range from 21.0 to 58.3%. Grain yields of rice and wheat were significantly increased by 22.6–25.9 and 34.4–37.5%, respectively, under NPM and NPKM (similar to each other) compared to NM at Suining. Yields were similar for NM, NPK, NPKM and NPKhM at Wuchang. The N accumulation and NRE among fertilizers were in the order NM < NPM = NPKM at the low amount of manure-applied site (Suining), but NM = NPM = NPKM at the high amount of manure-applied site (Wuchang). The ratio of N losses to total N input was 21.4–49.1% at the studied sites. Soil total N accumulated at a rate of 0.01–0.04 g/kg/yr during 1982–2005 with fertilizers and decreased or was constant in soil without fertilizer. Application of chemical P and K fertilizers could be reduced or eliminated after long-term manure application at these two sites, while maintaining optimal grain yields and enhancing soil N accumulation.