Agricultural Water Management, ( ISI ), Volume (96), No (5), Year (2009-5) , Pages (809-821)

Title : ( Interaction of water and nitrogen on maize grown for silage )

Authors: Mahdi Gheysari , Seyed Majid Mirlatifi , Mohammad Bannayan Aval , Mehdi Homaee , Gerrit Hoogenboom ,

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Water scarcity and environmental pollution due to excessive nitrogen (N) applications are important environmental concerns. The Varamin region, which is located in the central part of Iran, is one of the locations where farmers apply 250–350 kg N ha1 for silage maize without any concerns with respect to the available water for irrigation. The objective of this study was to quantify the response of the silage maize (Zea mays L.) to variable irrigation and N fertilizer applications under arid and semi-arid conditions and to determine the optimum amount of N fertilizer as a function of irrigation. The maize Hybrid 704 single-cross was planted on 3 August 2003 and on 25 June 2004. The experimental treatments consisted of three N rates (0, 150, and 200 kg N ha1) and four levels of irrigation, including two deficit irrigation levels 0.70 SWD (soil water depletion) and 0.85 SWD, a full-irrigation level (1.0 SWD) and an over-irrigation level (1.13 SWD). Twelve treatments were arranged in a stripplot design in a randomized complete block with three replicates. Gravimetric soil samples were collected in 2003 and a neutron probe was used in 2004 to measure soil water content. Leaf area index, total aboveground biomass (TB), plant height, stem diameter, and leaf, stem, and ear dry weight were measured during the growing seasons and at final harvest. Total aboveground biomass was affected by irrigation (P < 0.0001) during both years and was also affected by N fertilizer in 2003 (P = 0.0001) and 2004 (P < 0.0001). However, there was no irrigation andNfertilizer interaction for both years (P > 0.5). Total aboveground biomass and biomass of the crop components increased as a function of the amount of water and N applied. For each of the irrigation levels, there was an associated optimum amount of N, which increased as the amount of irrigation water that was applied increased. Among the four irrigation levels that were studied, 0.85 SWD was the optimum level of irrigation for the conditions at the experimental site. The results also indicated that an increase in N applications is not a good strategy to compensate for a decrease of TB under drought stress conditions. We concluded that the effect of N fertilizer on TB depends on the availability of water in the soil, and that the amount of N fertilizer applied should be decreased under drought stress conditions. Further research will combine these results with a crop simulation model to help optimize nitrogen and water management for silage maize.


Deficit irrigation Water stress Sprinkler irrigation Water and nitrogen interaction
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author = {Mahdi Gheysari and Seyed Majid Mirlatifi and Bannayan Aval, Mohammad and Mehdi Homaee and Gerrit Hoogenboom},
title = {Interaction of water and nitrogen on maize grown for silage},
journal = {Agricultural Water Management},
year = {2009},
volume = {96},
number = {5},
month = {May},
issn = {0378-3774},
pages = {809--821},
numpages = {12},
keywords = {Deficit irrigation Water stress Sprinkler irrigation Water and nitrogen interaction},


%0 Journal Article
%T Interaction of water and nitrogen on maize grown for silage
%A Mahdi Gheysari
%A Seyed Majid Mirlatifi
%A Bannayan Aval, Mohammad
%A Mehdi Homaee
%A Gerrit Hoogenboom
%J Agricultural Water Management
%@ 0378-3774
%D 2009