Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer on crop yields in a field pea-spring wheat-potato rotation system with calcareous soil in semi-arid environments
The object of the present study was to investigate the yield-affecting mechanisms influenced by N and P applications in rainfed areas with calcareous soil. The experimental treatments were as follows: NF (no fertilizer), N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus), and NP (nitrogen plus phosphorus) in a field pea-spring wheat-potato cropping system. This study was conducted over six years (2003-2008) on China’s semi-arid Loess Plateau. The fertilizer treatments were found to decrease the soil water content more than the NF treatment in each of the growing seasons. The annual average yields of the field pea crops during the entire experimental period were 635, 677, 858, and 1117 kg/ha for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. The annual average yields were 673, 547, 966, and 1056 kg/ha for the spring wheat crops for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. Also, the annual average yields were 1476, 2120, 1480, and 2424 kg/ha for the potato crops for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. In the second cycle of the three-year rotation, the pea and spring wheat yields in the P treatment were 1.2 and 2.8 times higher than that in the N treatment, respectively. Meanwhile, the potato crop yield in the N treatment was 3.1 times higher than that in the P treatment. In conclusion, the P fertilizer was found to increase the yields of the field pea and wheat crops, and the N fertilizer increased the potato crop yield in rainfed areas with calcareous soil.
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