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Cereal yield and quality as affected by N availability in organic and conventional crop rotations in Denmark: a combined modeling and experimental approach

Doltra, Jordi; Lægdsmand, Mette and Olesen, Jørgen Eivind (2011) Cereal yield and quality as affected by N availability in organic and conventional crop rotations in Denmark: a combined modeling and experimental approach. European Journal of Agronomy, 34, pp. 83-95.

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Summary

The effects of nitrogen (N) availability related to fertilizer type, catch crop management, and rotation composition on cereal yield and grain N were investigated in four organic and one conventional cropping systems in Denmark using the FASSET model. The four-year rotation studied was: spring barley–(faba bean or grass-clover)– potato–winter wheat. Experiments were done at three locations representative of the different soil types and climatic conditions in Denmark. The three organic systems that included faba bean as the N fixing crop comprised a system with manure (stored pig slurry) and undersowing catch crops (OF+C+M), a system with manure but without undersowing catch crops (OF−C + M), and a system without manure and with catch crops (OF + C−M). A grass-clover green manure was used asNfixing crop in the other organic system with catch crops (OG+C+M). Cuttings of grass-clover were removed from the plots and an equivalent amount of total-N in pig slurry was applied to the cropping system. The conventional rotation included mineral fertilizer and catch crops (CF+C+F), although only non-legume catch crops were used. Measurements of cereal dry matter (DM) at harvest and of grain N contents were done in all plots. On average the FASSET model was able to predict the yield and grain N of cereals with a reasonable accuracy for the range of cropping systems and soil types studied, having a particularly good performance on winter wheat. Cereal yields were better on the more loamy soil. DM yield and grain N content were mainly influenced by the type and amount of fertilizer-N at all three locations. Although a catch crop benefit in terms of yield and grain N was observed in most of the cases, a limited N availability affected the cereal production in the four organic systems. Scenario analyses conducted with the FASSET model indicated the possibility of increasing N fertilization without significantly affecting N leaching if there is an adequate catch crop management. This would also improve yields of cereal production of organic farming in Denmark.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:winter wheat, spring barley, nitrogen leaching, FASSET model
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic > AGTEC-Org
Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > CROPSYS - The effect of cropping systems on production and the environment
Deposited By: Olesen, Senior scientist Jørgen E.
ID Code:18764
Deposited On:06 May 2011 10:55
Last Modified:29 Apr 2013 16:17
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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