Opportunities for yield increases and environmental benefits through site-specific nutrient management in rice systems of Zhejiang province, China uri icon

abstract

  • Environmental pollution by nitrogen (N) leaching or runoff from rice fields and high pesticide use has become a serious concern in China. Average N application is high and fertilizer-N use efficiency is low compared with other major rice growing countries. in Zhejiang, rice farmers apply 150-250 kg ha(-1) fertilizer N and 7-10 sprays of pesticides per season to maintain yield levels of 5.5-8.0 t ha(-1). Fertilizer and pest management strategies of farmers are not based on plant nutrient demand and pest control requirements. To provide farmers with options for high yielding, yet more resourceful management options, site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) was developed at Zhejiang University in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The approach comprises guidelines that allow farmers to adjust domain- and season-specific fertilizer recommendations to actual growing conditions in their fields taking into account plant nutrient demand, indigenous nutrient supply, nutrient use efficiency, as well as socio-economic factors. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the agronomic performance of SSNM in farmers' fields in the past seven years (1998-2004). With SSNM. average grain yield increased by about 0.5 t ha(-1) over the farmers' practice, while N use efficiency increased significantly. About 30% of both fertilizer N could be reduced through adoption of SSNM, which would effectively eliminate an unnecessary source of pollution in the rice ecosystem. Larger scale dissemination of SSNM for rice is under way in Zhejiang province, but stronger institutional support is urgently required. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2007