Nitrogen yield and nitrogen use of chickpea compared to pea, barley and oat in Central Europe

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Department of Crop Sciences, Division of Agronomy, Konrad Lorenz-Str. 24, 3430 Tulln, Austria.

2 BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Department of Crop Sciences, Experimental Farm Groß-Enzersdorf, Schlosshoferstr. 31, 2301 Groß-Enzersdorf, Austria.

3 BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Department of Crop Sciences, Division of Agronomy, Konrad Lorenz-Str. 24, 3430 Tulln, Austria

Abstract

European agriculture suffers from a substantial deficit of protein sources for
livestock and the projected changes in agro-climatic conditions in Central Europe
include a higher risk of drought. To address these challenges, the drought resistant
legume crop chickpea was compared with pea, barley and oat regarding its nitrogen
(N) yield, protein yield and N use and utilization efficiency under Central
European growing conditions. The two year trial was conducted in eastern Austria
with calcium ammonium nitrate or the depot fertilizer Basacote® Plus 6M at two
levels of N rate each besides an unfertilized control. In 2006, chickpea had the
lowest grain yield and grain N yield among the four crops while under drought
conditions in 2007 chickpea attained a higher grain protein yield that surpassed
those of barley and oat. Under both, the more humid conditions in 2006 and the
drier weather in 2007, chickpea maintained a constant partial factor N use
efficiency (PFNUE: grain yield per unit fertilizer N) and a consistently high N
utilization efficiency (NUtE: grain yield per unit N in the above-ground dry matter)
for grain production whereas these parameters were severely decreased by drought
with pea, barley and oat. Results indicate that chickpea could be an alternative in a
future more dry climate for achieving a reasonable protein yield in Central Europe
through its ability to maintain high PFNUE and NUtE under conditions of drought.


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