Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2023) | Viewed by 12643

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Poznań University of Life Sciences, 11 Dojazd St., 60-632 Poznań, Poland
Interests: crop production; sustainable agriculture; soil tillage systems; biodiversity; forecrop residue management; soil and nutrient management

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Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Poznań University of Life Sciences, 11 Dojazd St., 60-632 Poznań, Poland
Interests: sustainable agriculture; crop cultivation; seed quality; soil management; crop nutrition; microorganisms; farming technology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modern agriculture faces many challenges. Among the most important is feeding the ever-growing human population with environmentally friendly methods. Hence, there is a growing interest in sustainable agriculture, which aims to ensuring world food security through nurturing healthy ecosystems and supporting the environmentally friendly management of land, water and natural resources. Nowadays, sustainable agriculture must answer the question of how to increase the yield potential of crops per acre or hectare without harming the environment. For this reason, sustainable agriculture is based on varieties of crops bred for high performance under different environmental conditions. Soil tillage systems also can play a key role as one of the most important factors to improve crop production. Furthermore, an indispensable element of sustainable agriculture is biodiversity and the abandonment of monocultures. This Special Issue focuses on the most recent and important findings related to “Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production”, such as the application of environmentally friendly fertilizers, seed inoculations, biodiversity, mulching, rotating crops, planting cover crops and using different kinds of reduced soil tillage systems. These practices can lead to improvements in plant nutrition and high performance. All types of articles, such as original research and reviews, are welcome.

Dr. Agnieszka Faligowska
Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Panasiewicz
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biofertilizers
  • sustainable agriculture
  • no-tillage systems
  • biodiversity
  • forecrop
  • residue management
  • cover crops
  • mulching
  • crop rotation
  • microorganisms
  • soil and nutrient management

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 1710 KiB  
Article
Nutrient Cycling with Duckweed for the Fertilization of Root, Fruit, Leaf, and Grain Crops: Impacts on Plant–Soil–Leachate Systems
by Carlos R. Fernandez Pulido, Pandara Valappil Femeena and Rachel A. Brennan
Agriculture 2024, 14(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14020188 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 825
Abstract
The increasing energy required to synthesize inorganic fertilizers warrants more sustainable soil amendments that produce comparable crop yields with less environmental damage. Duckweed, a prolific aquatic plant, can not only sequester carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, but also hyperaccumulate nutrients from its environment and [...] Read more.
The increasing energy required to synthesize inorganic fertilizers warrants more sustainable soil amendments that produce comparable crop yields with less environmental damage. Duckweed, a prolific aquatic plant, can not only sequester carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, but also hyperaccumulate nutrients from its environment and upcycle them into valuable bioproducts. In this study, dried duckweed, grown on treated wastewater treatment plant effluent, was utilized as a fertilizer for a variety of crops (beet, tomato, kale, and sorghum). Comparative experiments examined the effect of duckweed, inorganic fertilizer, and a 40–60 mix of both on crop yield and nutrient fate in the plants, soil, and leachate. Comparable yields of beet, tomato, and sorghum were generated with duckweed and inorganic fertilizer. Duckweed significantly enhanced phosphorus (P) uptake in sorghum, exhibiting a P use efficiency level of 18.48%, while the mix treatment resulted in the highest P use efficiencies in beet and tomato. Duckweed-amended beet and kale systems also increased residual soil N (0.9% and 11.1%, respectively) and carbon (4.5% and 16.6%, respectively). Linear regression models developed using the data collected from all crops confirmed that duckweed can be used as a substitute for inorganic fertilizer without negative effects to food yield or nutritional quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production)
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19 pages, 4740 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Different Nitrogen Levels on the Tuber Yield and Anthocyanin Synthesis of Purple Potatoes
by Zhaojuan Zhang, Binbin Cai, Yiling Guo, Tiancang Na and Yuchun Guo
Agriculture 2024, 14(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14010125 - 15 Jan 2024
Viewed by 756
Abstract
The biosynthesis of anthocyanins is influenced by external environmental conditions such as light, temperature, and nitrogen level, with nitrogen level being a key factor in anthocyanin synthesis and accumulation. Nitrogen level regulates the transcription factors involved in the anthocyanin synthesis pathway, with low [...] Read more.
The biosynthesis of anthocyanins is influenced by external environmental conditions such as light, temperature, and nitrogen level, with nitrogen level being a key factor in anthocyanin synthesis and accumulation. Nitrogen level regulates the transcription factors involved in the anthocyanin synthesis pathway, with low nitrogen levels promoting anthocyanin accumulation, while high nitrogen levels have the opposite effect. Purple potatoes are a type of cultivated crop that is rich in anthocyanins and has unique economic value. Nitrogen fertilizer is crucial to improve the agronomic traits, yield, quality, and anthocyanin content of purple potatoes. In this study, the impact of four different nitrogen concentrations—0 kg/hm2 (N0), 90 kg/hm2 (N1), 225 kg/hm2 (N2) and 360 kg/hm2 (N3)—on the agronomic traits, yield, quality, and anthocyanin content of purple potatoes, ‘Huasong 66’, at different stages were investigated by using physiological index measurement and RNA-seq technology. It was found that the purple potato ‘Huasong 66’ was more sensitive to low nitrogen (N1). Under N1 level of nitrogen fertilization, ‘Huasong 66’ possessed the finest agronomic traits, yield, and quality, and the total anthocyanins in the tubers were significantly increased. Furthermore, Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that nitrogen levels in purple potato tubers primarily affect genes related to nutrient transport and metabolism by regulating carbon and nitrogen metabolism, enzyme catalysis and binding, and signal transduction. In addition, nine candidate genes related to the anthocyanin synthesis pathway had been preliminarily screened. These results provide a basis to understand the impact of different nitrogen levels on the tuber yield and anthocyanin synthesis of purple potatoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production)
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25 pages, 8925 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Environmental and Economic Performance of Crop Production in Relation to Crop Rotation, Catch Crops, and Tillage
by Alberts Auzins, Ieva Leimane, Agnese Krievina, Inga Morozova, Andris Miglavs and Peteris Lakovskis
Agriculture 2023, 13(8), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081539 - 02 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1179
Abstract
Crop production constitutes a significant portion of the EU’s agricultural output and influences land use decisions. Various elements within the crop production system can significantly impact its outcomes. This paper aims to evaluate the environmental and economic performance of crop rotation, catch crops, [...] Read more.
Crop production constitutes a significant portion of the EU’s agricultural output and influences land use decisions. Various elements within the crop production system can significantly impact its outcomes. This paper aims to evaluate the environmental and economic performance of crop rotation, catch crops, and different tillage practices in Latvia by analyzing data from case studies, field trials, and field monitoring to identify the potential for improvement towards a more sustainable utilization of agricultural land. Environmental performance was evaluated by focusing on nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), as it is likely to play a significant role in assessing the environmental suitability of crop production according to the Platform on Sustainable Finance. For economic performance, gross margins were calculated. Crop rotation in Latvia tends to be monotonous, with wheat and oilseed rape dominating over 60% of the cultivated area due to their profitability. The findings of this study indicate that achieving a minimum NUE of 70% is challenging. Crop rotations including oilseed rape, particularly the common wheat–oilseed rape rotation, have an average NUE below the threshold, while proper use of catch crops may increase NUE by 7–9%. The three-year field trials on commercial farms yielded divergent findings about the impact of various tillage practices on NUE and gross margin. However, the field trials conducted on the farm practicing reduced tillage for over ten years show higher NUE compared to ploughing. The advantage of reduced tillage was supported by the obtained results indicating lower costs of agrotechnical operations, including less diesel consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production)
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12 pages, 1796 KiB  
Article
Response of New Yellow Lupin Varieties to Inoculation with Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus under Central European Conditions
by Agnieszka Faligowska
Agriculture 2023, 13(6), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13061261 - 18 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
The aim of a two-factorial field experiment was to determine how the inoculation of seeds/soil with preparations of Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus (Nitragina—seed inoculation, Nitroflora I—seed inoculation, Nitroflora II—soil inoculation, HiStick® Lupin—seed inoculation) affected plant development, seed chemical composition and yield of two [...] Read more.
The aim of a two-factorial field experiment was to determine how the inoculation of seeds/soil with preparations of Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus (Nitragina—seed inoculation, Nitroflora I—seed inoculation, Nitroflora II—soil inoculation, HiStick® Lupin—seed inoculation) affected plant development, seed chemical composition and yield of two yellow lupin varieties (Bursztyn, Puma). This experiment was carried out with four replications in 2018 and 2019 in Poland. Precipitation during both vegetation periods was similar to or lower than the long-term mean. Average seed yield of Puma was significantly greater than Bursztyn (by 0.22 t ha−1). According to the correlation coefficients, seed yield was mainly related to plant height, dry mass of nodules per plant and mass of 1000 seeds. Our results suggest that legumes, such as lupin, should always be inoculated with Bradyrhizobium, especially if they are cultivated for the first time in a field. For optimal results, the highest-quality preparations should be used. In our study, the best results were observed after HiStick® Lupin inoculation, which resulted in the highest protein content, seed yield and protein yield across all treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production)
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11 pages, 1564 KiB  
Article
Optimizing the Amount of Nitrogen and Seed Inoculation to Improve the Quality and Yield of Soybean Grown in the Southeastern Baltic Region
by Katarzyna Panasiewicz, Agnieszka Faligowska, Grażyna Szymańska, Karolina Ratajczak and Hanna Sulewska
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040798 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
The cultivation of soybeans, especially where this species has not been grown in large areas, requires the determination of the optimal mineral nitrogen fertilization and seed inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The purpose of the study was to determine the optimal dose of [...] Read more.
The cultivation of soybeans, especially where this species has not been grown in large areas, requires the determination of the optimal mineral nitrogen fertilization and seed inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The purpose of the study was to determine the optimal dose of mineral N fertilization and seed inoculation treatments with B. japonicum under field conditions in the southeastern Baltic region. The objective of this study was to achieve nitrogen supply and/or inoculation with B. japonicum: check-0 kg N ha−1, 30 kg N ha−1, 60 kg N ha−1, HiStick® Soy + 0 kg N ha−1, Nitroflora + 0 kg N ha−1, HiStick® Soy + 30 kg N ha−1, HiStick® Soy + 60 kg N ha−1, Nitroflora + 30 kg N ha−1, Nitroflora + 60 kg N ha−1. Higher yields of seeds, protein and fat were found after application HiStick® Soy compared to Nitorflora. The inoculation with B. japonicum together with nitrogen fertilization improved crude protein content in seeds, biometrical features, yield components and especially the seed yield of ‘Aldana’ soybean. The highest seed yield was found after the application of HiStick® Soy and nitrogen fertilization in doses 30 kg N ha−1 or 60 kg N ha−1. Compared to the control, combined B. japonicum inoculation and nitrogen fertilization in soybean cultivation proved to be a significant factor in improving the productivity of this species in southeastern Baltic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production)
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18 pages, 1935 KiB  
Article
Precision Nutrient Management in Zero-Till Direct-Seeded Rice Influences the Productivity, Profitability, Nutrient, and Water Use Efficiency as Well as the Environmental Footprint in the Indo Gangetic Plain of India
by Rahul Sadhukhan, Dinesh Kumar, Suman Sen, Seema Sepat, Avijit Ghosh, Yashbir Singh Shivay, Mahesh Chand Meena, Anjali Anand, Rajesh Kumar, Laimayum Devarishi Sharma, Kiranmoy Patra, Vijay Pratap, Amnah Mohammed Alsuhaibani, Ahmed Gaber and Akbar Hossain
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040784 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2139
Abstract
Conventional tillage practices coupled with irrational use of fertilizer in the rice-wheat cropping system (RWCS) often leads to poor productivity, low nutrient use efficiency, and cause environmental pollution. Conservation tillage with surface residue retention in combination with intelligent nutrient management might improve productivity [...] Read more.
Conventional tillage practices coupled with irrational use of fertilizer in the rice-wheat cropping system (RWCS) often leads to poor productivity, low nutrient use efficiency, and cause environmental pollution. Conservation tillage with surface residue retention in combination with intelligent nutrient management might improve productivity and use efficiency of water as well as nutrients in zero-till direct-seeded rice (ZTDSR). Keeping this in mind, during the kharif season of 2018 and 2019, a trial was carried out at the ICAR-IARI in New Delhi to investigate the varying nutrient management approaches following a precise manner in DSR. The treatments consisted of soil-test-based NPK (STB-NPK) and Nutrient Expert® (+LCCN) based NPK (NE-NPK) applications, Fertilizer applied at the recommended dose (RDF) [120-60-40 kg/ha NPK], the state recommended NPK (110-50-40 kg/ha) and omission plot technique of NPK [i.e., STB (N0PK, NP0K & NPK0); SR (N0PK, NP0K & NPK0) and NE-(N0PK, NP0K & NPK0)]. The results indicated that STB NPK application led to a 12% higher grain yield over RDF. However, NE-NPK resulted in a 7% and 35% increase in N (AEN) agronomic efficiency and P (AEP) over the STB-NPK application respectively. In contrast, AEk was 24% higher in STB-NPK over NE-NPK treatment. The comparison of two years’ results that the first year performed better than the succeeding year in these respect (productivity and AE) except in the case of AEk. The N2O emission in NE-NPK treatment was also significantly reduced (49%) over the control (no N). STB-NPK treatment also improved profitability by 22% over RDF. Precision nutrient management (PNM) increased the crop yield, income, and use efficiency of nutrients and water and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of DSR in Southeast Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production)
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14 pages, 1116 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Usefulness of Fermented Liquid Organic Formulations and Manures for Improving the Soil Fertility and Productivity of Brinjal (Solanum melongena L.)
by Gitanjli Rathore, Rajesh Kaushal, Vivek Sharma, Gargi Sharma, Shikha Chaudhary, Salwinder Singh Dhaliwal, Amnah Mohammed Alsuhaibani, Ahmed Gaber and Akbar Hossain
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020417 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2973
Abstract
The practice of incorporating organic manures and fermented liquid biofertilizers of different origins and compositions can supply valuable nutrients to the soil. To ascertain the effect of fermented liquid organic nutrient formulations (FLONFs) on the rhizospheric microbial population, growth characteristics, nutritional status, and [...] Read more.
The practice of incorporating organic manures and fermented liquid biofertilizers of different origins and compositions can supply valuable nutrients to the soil. To ascertain the effect of fermented liquid organic nutrient formulations (FLONFs) on the rhizospheric microbial population, growth characteristics, nutritional status, and yield of brinjal, a field experiment was conducted in consecutive seasons in 2017 and 2018. Fermented liquid biofertilizers (panchagavya and jeevamrut) were prepared and applied along with organic manures to brinjal plants in ten treatment combinations in three replications. The treatment (T4) involving the combined use of organics and FLONFs contributed significantly to the soil dehydrogenase enzyme activity (4.9 mg TPF h−1 g−1 soil), phosphatase enzyme activity (25.5 mmoles PNP h−1 g−1 soil), and urease enzyme activity (0.27 mg NH4+ g−1 soil). The mean bacterial count, fungal count, and actinomycete levels were 203.3 × 108 cfu g−1, 4.34 × 103 cfu g−1, and 3.41 × 102 cfu g−1 soil, respectively, along with a mean soil microbial biomass of carbon value of 66.1 mg g−1 soil. The brinjal yield was maximal under treatment T4 with values of 389.2 q ha−1 and 153.7 q ha−1 for 2017 and 2018, respectively. As a result, for higher yields and soil longevity, the combination of organics and FLONFs can be advocated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production)
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14 pages, 4282 KiB  
Article
Alley Cropping and Organic Compost: An Efficient and Sustainable Agro-Ecological Strategy for Improving Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) Growth and Attributes
by Yassin M. Soliman, Wagdi S. Soliman and Ahmed M. Abbas
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010149 - 06 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1781
Abstract
Alley cropping is a sustainable agriculture approach that improves ecosystem services while also promoting biodiversity. The current study was conducted over two seasons, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, to examine the impact of leucaena–turmeric alley cropping and organic compost addition as agroforestry systems on the [...] Read more.
Alley cropping is a sustainable agriculture approach that improves ecosystem services while also promoting biodiversity. The current study was conducted over two seasons, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, to examine the impact of leucaena–turmeric alley cropping and organic compost addition as agroforestry systems on the growth, yield and characteristics of the turmeric crop. Alley cropping included four treatments: control (turmeric as sole crop), turmeric cultivated between leucaena trees pruned at 1 m height, leucaena trees pruned at 1.5 m height and unpruned leucaena trees. Meanwhile, organic compost rates were control (received recommended NPK) and 17 and 34 m3 ha−1. This study’s results showed that growing turmeric in between rows of unpruned leucaena resulted in maximum turmeric plant growth, production and characteristics. Minimum turmeric growth and yield parameters were recorded with plants grown between pruned leucaena at 1 m and those where the turmeric was the sole crop. In addition, compost addition at 34 m3 ha−1 led to maximum growth, yield and attributes of the turmeric crop. Compost addition and alley cropping were shown to be an effective and sustainable agro-ecological system for increasing turmeric output and quality. The study demonstrated the importance of selecting the appropriate crop–tree combination in this system and it was discovered that leguminous leucaena trees significantly contributed to improving fertility and nutrient availability, which in turn improved the growth characteristics of turmeric, particularly the leaf-area index and its nutrient content, which are beneficial to the characteristics of the rhizome yield and curcumin content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production)
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