Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 10, Issue 3&4,2012
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Mineral nitrogen dynamics and nitrate leaching in a catch crop and straw management system


Aušra Arlauskienė *, Stanislava Maikštėnienė

Recieved Date: 2012-07-12, Accepted Date: 2012-09-30


The paper presents the data of research conducted at the Lithuanian Institute of Agricultures Joniškėlis Experimental Station on an Endocalcari - Endohypogleyic Cambisol during the period 2004–2005. The research was designed to identify the effects of dry matter and nitrogen accumulated in the above-ground biomass of various catch crops grown after winter wheat on soil mineral nitrogen variation during the autumn and spring period. In trial we tested various undersown catch crops – red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lamk.) mixture and post-crops – white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) and their combinations with straw.  Undersown catch crops (red and white clovers) have a longer growing season and better conditions to emerge, grow and form aboveground mass, compared with post-crops. Carbon to nitrogen ratio in aboveground mass of various catch crops was favourable for decomposition and varied little (10–17). Data showed that late in the autumn, undersown catch crops red clover and white clover and Italian ryegrass mixture gave a more marked reduction in mineral nitrogen concentration in the 0–40 cm soil layer compared with post crop white mustard. During the autumn period with no leaching regime stubble breaking, catch crops and straw reduced Nmin migration into deeper (40–80 cm) soil layer. Incorporation of the catch crop biomass rich in nitrogen (or narrow C:N ratio) can lead to N leaching during autumn–spring period. The lowest negative effect on environment was defined when biomass of catch crops was applied with straw. 


Cambisol, catch crops, straw, mineral nitrogen (Nmin), nitrate leaching

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2012
Volume: 10
Issue: 3&4
Category: Environment
Pages: 1188-1193

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