The effects of biochar, compost and their mixture and nitrogen fertilizer on yield and nitrogen use efficiency of barley grown on a Nitisol in the highlands of Ethiopia

Jenberu, Getachew, Nelson, Paul N., and Bird, Michael I. (2016) The effects of biochar, compost and their mixture and nitrogen fertilizer on yield and nitrogen use efficiency of barley grown on a Nitisol in the highlands of Ethiopia. Science of the Total Environment, 569-570. pp. 869-879.

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Abstract

The effects of organic amendments and nitrogen (N) fertilizer on yield and N use efficiency of barley were investigated on a Nitisol of the central Ethiopian highlands in 2014. The treatments were factorial combinations of no organic amendment, biochar (B), compost (Com), Com + B and co-composted biochar (COMBI) as main plots and five N fertilizer levels as sub-plots, with three replicates. Application of organic amendment and N fertilizer significantly improved yield, with grain yield increases of 60% from Com + B + 69 kg N ha⁻¹ at Holetta and 54% from Com + 92 kg N ha⁻¹ at Robgebeya, compared to the yield from the maximum N rate. The highest total N uptake was obtained from Com + B + 92 kg N ha⁻¹ at Holetta (138 kg ha⁻¹) and Com + 92 kg N ha⁻¹ at Robgebeya (101 kg ha⁻¹). The agronomic efficiency (yield increase per unit of N applied, AE), apparent recovery efficiency (increase in N uptake per unit of N applied, ARE) and physiological efficiency (yield increase per unit of N uptake, PE) responded significantly to organic amendments and N fertilizer. Mean AE and ARE were highest at B + 23 kg N ha⁻¹ at Holetta and at B + 23 and B + 46 kg N ha⁻¹ at Robgebeya. The PE ranged from 19 to 33 kg grain kg⁻¹ N uptake at Holetta and 29–48 kg grain kg⁻¹ N uptake at Robgebeya. The effects of organic amendments and N fertilizer on AE, ARE and PE were greater at Robgebeya than at Holetta. The enhancement of N use efficiency through application of organic amendments emphasizes the importance of balanced crop nutrition, ensuring that barley crops are adequately supplied with N and other nutrients. Overall, the integration of both organic and inorganic amendments may optimize N uptake efficiency and reduce the amount of N fertilizer required for the sustainable barley production in the long-term.

Item ID: 45801
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: barley, biochar, compost, composted biochar, nitrogen fertilizer, nitrogen use efficiency
ISSN: 1879-1026
Funders: Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 02:40
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8205 Winter Grains and Oilseeds > 820501 Barley @ 30%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829899 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production not elsewhere classified @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management @ 30%
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