Temporal availability of N to wheat in a lentil-wheat rotation
van Kessel, C.
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Incorporation of legumes in a cropping system has positive agronomic benefits to subsequent crops, particularly cereals. Some of these benefits are associated with improved N availability to the subsequent cereal. A study was conducted at four locations in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, in the Brown and Dark Brown soil zones to determine the effect of a preceding lentil (tens culinaris Medikus) or wheat (Triricum sativum L.) crop on temporal availability of N and its uptake by a subsequent wheat crop, as well as its effect on grain yield and protein content. A randomized complete block design with four replications was employed and ‘%I labeled lentil and wheat residues and ammonium nitrate fertilizer were used to help quantify the availability and uptake of N from the fertilizer, residues and soil throughout the growing season. Nitrogen availability and uptake, residue and soil proportional N availability and uptake, and above-ground biomass yield and N concentration throughout the season: and wheat yield and protein content at harvest were higher on the lentil-wheat rotation than on the wheat-wheat rotation at three of the locations. The inclusion of a legume in the rotation increased the availability of both the residue and soil N during the growing season and did it much earlier than for N from cereal residue, resulting in higher grain yield and protein.
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