Artículos de revistas
Is soybean yield limited by nitrogen supply?
Cafaro la Menza, Nicolás; Monzon, Juan Pablo; Specht, James E.; Grassini, Patricio; Is soybean yield limited by nitrogen supply?; Elsevier Science; Field Crops Research; 213; 11-2017; 204-212
Cafaro la Menza, Nicolás
Monzon, Juan Pablo
Specht, James E.
As soybean yield continues to increase, it seems critical to know if there is a yield level at which potential contribution of indigenous nitrogen (N) sources (N fixation and soil mineralization) becomes insufficient to meet crop N requirements for high yields, while still maintaining or increasing protein and oil concentration. We have hypothesized that, in absence of other limiting factors, degree of N limitation increases with increasing yield potential (Yp) of the production environment. To test this hypothesis, we developed a novel protocol to ensure an ample N supply during the entire crop season (full-N treatment). That protocol was applied to field-grown irrigated soybean in Balcarce (Argentina) and Nebraska (USA), where measured full-N seed yields were ±15% of their simulated Yp in 92% of the cases. The combination of locations, years, sowing dates, and N treatments resulted in a wide range of seed yields, from 2.5 to 6.5 Mg ha−1. Overall, full-N seed yield averaged 11% higher than seed yield without N addition (zero-N). However, magnitude of yield difference between full-N and zero-N depended upon Yp, ranging from no detectable yield difference in low-Yp (ca. 2.5 Mg ha−1) to up to 900 kg ha−1 in high-Yp environments (ca. 6 Mg ha−1). Seed yield differences were associated with higher aboveground dry matter, seed number, and seed weight in the full-N versus zero-N treatments. Seed protein (but not oil) concentration was higher in the full-N treatment, and both protein and oil yields were higher in the full-N versus zero-N treatments. Findings from this study indicate that (i) N limits soybean seed yield (as well as protein yield, and oil yield) in environments with high Yp, where indigenous N sources seem insufficient to fully satisfy crop N requirements, and (ii) yield response to N fertilizer can occur above a 2.5 Mg ha−1 Yp threshold and has an upper limit of 250 kg seed per Mg increase in Yp.