Management of nitrogen fertilization of fresh vegetable crops at field scale in Wallonia (Belgium) - Combination of soil or crop nitrogen status evaluation and splitting of nitrogen fertilizer application


  • Abras, M. , Baeten, V. & GOFFART, J.P. (2013). Management of nitrogen fertilization of fresh vegetable crops at field scale in Wallonia (Belgium) - Combination of soil or crop nitrogen status evaluation and splitting of nitrogen fertilizer application. Proceedings in: NUTRIHORT : Nutrient management, innovative techniques and nutrient legislation in intensive horticulture for an improved water quality, Ghent, 16/09/2013-18/09/2013, 30-37.
Type Conference Proceedings
Year of conference 2013
Title Management of nitrogen fertilization of fresh vegetable crops at field scale in Wallonia (Belgium) - Combination of soil or crop nitrogen status evaluation and splitting of nitrogen fertilizer application
Conference name NUTRIHORT : Nutrient management, innovative techniques and nutrient legislation in intensive horticulture for an improved water quality
Conference location Ghent
Recnumber 20
Pages 30-37
conference Date 16/09/2013-18/09/2013
Type of article avec comité d'acceptation
Project/Service ref Légumes frais
Abstract Fresh vegetable crops frequently receive high supplies of organic or mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizer leading to increase of nitrate concentration in plants and to water or atmosphere pollution. An optimal management of N fertilization of these crops should largely contribute to their productivity and to reduce environmental risks. Based on previous research to the set-up of provisional N recommendations, several field trials with increasing N fertilizer rate and including split rates have been conducted on loam soil in Wallonia (Belgium) from 2005 to 2010 aiming to improve N efficiency of four crops (carrot, escarole, Welsh onion and curled-leaved endive). For arbitrary application dates of split N rates, results have not shown any difference between split and non-split N rates for carrot and escarole. For Welsh onion and fine curled-leaved endive the results show an advantage to split N, regarding yield as well as nitrate concentration in leaves at harvest. Soil mineral N residues at harvest were also lowered. For these two crops, tools to assess crop N status were tested for their ability to decide on the best time for split N rate application aiming to improve N use efficiency. Tools are based either on leaf chlorophyll content assessed with a chlorophyll meter or on shoots nitrate concentration assessed by colorimetry. For each tool, discrimination in readings appeared between increasing N rates. Moreover, optimal periods for a second N application were determined through good correlations between total plant N concentration or N-uptake and the values of the “plant-based” tools. For these identified periods, tool values have been plotted against the Nitrogen Nutrition Index (NNI) and threshold values for both tools have been identified, but are still to be validated for further implementation in practice.
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Authors Abras, M. , Baeten, V. & GOFFART, J.P.