Leguminous Cover Crop Astragalus sinicus Enhances Grain Yields and Nitrogen Use Efficiency through Increased Tillering in an Intensive Double-Cropping Rice System in Southern China

Jiangwen Nie, Lixia Yi, Heshui Xu, Zhangyong Liu, Zhaohai Zeng, Paul Dijkstra, George W Koch, Bruce A Hungate, Bo Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Chinese milk vetch (Astragalus sinicus L., vetch), a leguminous winter cover crop, has been widely adopted by farmers in southern China to boost yield of the succeeding rice crop. However, the effects of vetch on rice grain yield and nitrogen (N) use efficiency have not yet been well studied in the intensive double-cropped rice cropping systems. To fill this gap, we conducted a three-year field experiment to evaluate the impacts of the vetch crop on yields and N use efficiency in the subsequent early and late rice seasons. With moderate N input (100 kg N ha−1 for each rice crop), vetch cover significantly increased grain yields by 7.3–13.4% for early rice, by 8.2–10.4% for late rice, and by 8.6–11.5% for total annual rice production when compared with winter fallow. When rice crops received an N input of 200 kg N ha−1, vetch cover increased grain yields by 5.9–18.4% for early rice, by 3.8–10.1% for late rice, and by 6.2–11.3% for annual rice production. Moreover, comparable grain yields (11.9 vs. 12.0 Mg ha−1 for annual rice production) were observed between vetch cover with moderate N and fallow with added N fertilizer. Yield components analysis indicated that the increased tillering number was the main factor for the enhanced grain yields by vetch cover. Vetch cover with moderate and higher N input resulted in higher agronomic N use efficiency and applied N recovery efficiency compared with the fallow treatments. Here, our results showed that vetch as a winter cover crop can be combined with reduced N fertilizer input while maintaining high grain yields, thus gaining a more sustainable rice production system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number554
JournalAgronomy
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2019

Fingerprint

Astragalus sinicus
double cropping
nutrient use efficiency
tillering
cover crops
grain yield
rice
Vicia
China
fallow
crops
Vicia villosa subsp. villosa
nitrogen fertilizers
Astragalus
winter

Keywords

  • Double cropping
  • Grain yield
  • Leguminous cover crop
  • N uptake
  • N use efficiency
  • Rice
  • Vetch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Leguminous Cover Crop Astragalus sinicus Enhances Grain Yields and Nitrogen Use Efficiency through Increased Tillering in an Intensive Double-Cropping Rice System in Southern China. / Nie, Jiangwen; Yi, Lixia; Xu, Heshui; Liu, Zhangyong; Zeng, Zhaohai; Dijkstra, Paul; Koch, George W; Hungate, Bruce A; Zhu, Bo.

In: Agronomy, Vol. 9, No. 9, 554, 16.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{86342eb7c9694d87a73d2495f3f25f99,
title = "Leguminous Cover Crop Astragalus sinicus Enhances Grain Yields and Nitrogen Use Efficiency through Increased Tillering in an Intensive Double-Cropping Rice System in Southern China",
abstract = "Chinese milk vetch (Astragalus sinicus L., vetch), a leguminous winter cover crop, has been widely adopted by farmers in southern China to boost yield of the succeeding rice crop. However, the effects of vetch on rice grain yield and nitrogen (N) use efficiency have not yet been well studied in the intensive double-cropped rice cropping systems. To fill this gap, we conducted a three-year field experiment to evaluate the impacts of the vetch crop on yields and N use efficiency in the subsequent early and late rice seasons. With moderate N input (100 kg N ha−1 for each rice crop), vetch cover significantly increased grain yields by 7.3–13.4{\%} for early rice, by 8.2–10.4{\%} for late rice, and by 8.6–11.5{\%} for total annual rice production when compared with winter fallow. When rice crops received an N input of 200 kg N ha−1, vetch cover increased grain yields by 5.9–18.4{\%} for early rice, by 3.8–10.1{\%} for late rice, and by 6.2–11.3{\%} for annual rice production. Moreover, comparable grain yields (11.9 vs. 12.0 Mg ha−1 for annual rice production) were observed between vetch cover with moderate N and fallow with added N fertilizer. Yield components analysis indicated that the increased tillering number was the main factor for the enhanced grain yields by vetch cover. Vetch cover with moderate and higher N input resulted in higher agronomic N use efficiency and applied N recovery efficiency compared with the fallow treatments. Here, our results showed that vetch as a winter cover crop can be combined with reduced N fertilizer input while maintaining high grain yields, thus gaining a more sustainable rice production system.",
keywords = "Double cropping, Grain yield, Leguminous cover crop, N uptake, N use efficiency, Rice, Vetch",
author = "Jiangwen Nie and Lixia Yi and Heshui Xu and Zhangyong Liu and Zhaohai Zeng and Paul Dijkstra and Koch, {George W} and Hungate, {Bruce A} and Bo Zhu",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "16",
doi = "10.3390/agronomy9090554",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
journal = "Agronomy",
issn = "2073-4395",
publisher = "MDPI AG",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Leguminous Cover Crop Astragalus sinicus Enhances Grain Yields and Nitrogen Use Efficiency through Increased Tillering in an Intensive Double-Cropping Rice System in Southern China

AU - Nie, Jiangwen

AU - Yi, Lixia

AU - Xu, Heshui

AU - Liu, Zhangyong

AU - Zeng, Zhaohai

AU - Dijkstra, Paul

AU - Koch, George W

AU - Hungate, Bruce A

AU - Zhu, Bo

PY - 2019/9/16

Y1 - 2019/9/16

N2 - Chinese milk vetch (Astragalus sinicus L., vetch), a leguminous winter cover crop, has been widely adopted by farmers in southern China to boost yield of the succeeding rice crop. However, the effects of vetch on rice grain yield and nitrogen (N) use efficiency have not yet been well studied in the intensive double-cropped rice cropping systems. To fill this gap, we conducted a three-year field experiment to evaluate the impacts of the vetch crop on yields and N use efficiency in the subsequent early and late rice seasons. With moderate N input (100 kg N ha−1 for each rice crop), vetch cover significantly increased grain yields by 7.3–13.4% for early rice, by 8.2–10.4% for late rice, and by 8.6–11.5% for total annual rice production when compared with winter fallow. When rice crops received an N input of 200 kg N ha−1, vetch cover increased grain yields by 5.9–18.4% for early rice, by 3.8–10.1% for late rice, and by 6.2–11.3% for annual rice production. Moreover, comparable grain yields (11.9 vs. 12.0 Mg ha−1 for annual rice production) were observed between vetch cover with moderate N and fallow with added N fertilizer. Yield components analysis indicated that the increased tillering number was the main factor for the enhanced grain yields by vetch cover. Vetch cover with moderate and higher N input resulted in higher agronomic N use efficiency and applied N recovery efficiency compared with the fallow treatments. Here, our results showed that vetch as a winter cover crop can be combined with reduced N fertilizer input while maintaining high grain yields, thus gaining a more sustainable rice production system.

AB - Chinese milk vetch (Astragalus sinicus L., vetch), a leguminous winter cover crop, has been widely adopted by farmers in southern China to boost yield of the succeeding rice crop. However, the effects of vetch on rice grain yield and nitrogen (N) use efficiency have not yet been well studied in the intensive double-cropped rice cropping systems. To fill this gap, we conducted a three-year field experiment to evaluate the impacts of the vetch crop on yields and N use efficiency in the subsequent early and late rice seasons. With moderate N input (100 kg N ha−1 for each rice crop), vetch cover significantly increased grain yields by 7.3–13.4% for early rice, by 8.2–10.4% for late rice, and by 8.6–11.5% for total annual rice production when compared with winter fallow. When rice crops received an N input of 200 kg N ha−1, vetch cover increased grain yields by 5.9–18.4% for early rice, by 3.8–10.1% for late rice, and by 6.2–11.3% for annual rice production. Moreover, comparable grain yields (11.9 vs. 12.0 Mg ha−1 for annual rice production) were observed between vetch cover with moderate N and fallow with added N fertilizer. Yield components analysis indicated that the increased tillering number was the main factor for the enhanced grain yields by vetch cover. Vetch cover with moderate and higher N input resulted in higher agronomic N use efficiency and applied N recovery efficiency compared with the fallow treatments. Here, our results showed that vetch as a winter cover crop can be combined with reduced N fertilizer input while maintaining high grain yields, thus gaining a more sustainable rice production system.

KW - Double cropping

KW - Grain yield

KW - Leguminous cover crop

KW - N uptake

KW - N use efficiency

KW - Rice

KW - Vetch

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85072169144&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85072169144&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/agronomy9090554

DO - 10.3390/agronomy9090554

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85072169144

VL - 9

JO - Agronomy

JF - Agronomy

SN - 2073-4395

IS - 9

M1 - 554

ER -