Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 26, Number 2, April-June 2006
Page(s) 127 - 133
Published online 16 June 2006
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 26 (2006) 127-133
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2006006

Response of wheat to additional nitrogen fertilizer application after pig slurry on over-fertilized soils

Elisenda Guillaumes, Israel Carrasco and Josep M. Villar

Dep. Environment and Soil Science, University of Lleida, Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain

(Accepted 23 March 2006; published online 16 June 2006)

Abstract - Pig slurry is a valuable nutrient resource but constitutes a waste disposal problem in areas of high animal density. In the semiarid area of Pla d'Urgell, in the Ebro Valley, North-East Spain, irrigated crops receive large amounts of nutrients in the form of manure and mineral fertilizers. We studied the effect of pig slurry and additional side-dress mineral fertilizers on irrigated wheat, Triticum aestivum L., on a coarse loam soil, with high soil P and K levels. Yields increased by 62.3% when using pig slurry. The application of ammonium sulfate nitrate sidedress did not significantly increase wheat production. The average apparent recoveries were higher for potassium (88.7%) than for nitrogen (51.3%) and phosphorus (36.3%). Greater amounts of soil NO3-N were measured over the four growing seasons, which was consistent with the amount of N applied. Macronutrient and micronutrient uptake was significant higher for pig slurry treatments, but only small differences were found between the pig slurry and pig slurry plus ammonium sulfate nitrate treatments. The unfertilized treatment showed significantly lower soil P, K, Cu and Zn content than pig slurry treatments; 34%, 21%, 34%, and 26% respectively. These findings could be used to develop a nutrient management plan based on knowledge of soil test results and crop nutrient removal. This could help to improve the use of pig slurry and mineral fertilizers on limited available land areas and prevent the accumulation of potentially toxic elements in soils and the export of nutrients through agricultural drainage.

Key words: over-fertilized soils / irrigated wheat / nutrient uptake / nutrient recovery / pig slurry

Corresponding author: Josep M. Villar

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006