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Pietsch, G., Friedel, J. K., Freyer, B..
(2007): Lucerne management in an organic farming system under dry site conditions
FIELD CROP RES, 102, 104-118; ISSN 0378-4290 FullText FullText_BOKU

Abstract:
Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) as a result of the legumes-rhizobia symbioses is the main source of nitrogen in organic farming systems. Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.), used as green manure or as forage legume, is important on arable farms under dry site conditions. In a field experiment on organically managed agricultural fields, we examined the impacts of the utilisation system (harvested = forage production versus mulched = green manure) and the crop composition (pure lucerne crops versus lucerne-grass mixtures) on yield, biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), soil inorganic N content, N balance and water consumption of autumn-cultivated lucerne crops. The study was conducted at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, in eastern Austria-a region characterized by pannonian site conditions (9.8 degrees C mean annual temperature, 545 mm average total precipitation) and stockless farming systems. Our results indicate that the utilisation system and the crop composition had no marked influence on above- and below-ground dry matter (DM) and N yield, soil inorganic N contents, BNF, or water use efficiency of lucerne. The level of symbiotically fixed N-2 in harvested lucerne was 89-125 kg N ha(-1) (27-33% Ndfa = nitrogen derived from atmosphere) in the first year and 161-175 kg N ha(-1) (47-49% Ndfa) in the second year of the study. The high soil inorganic N supply in the first year increased the N uptake from soil by lucerne and led to a reduced BNE Under the dry and unfavourable conditions in both study years, the nitrogen release from the legume mulch was retarded and BNF in mulched lucerne was not reduced. Assuming low gaseous N losses by mulching (15-30 kg N ha(-1)), the green manure system reached a positive N balance (+137 to + 186 kg N ha(-1)) for the subsequent crops because abundant residues remained on the field. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Freyer Bernhard
Friedel J├╝rgen Kurt
Gollner Gabriele
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Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
forage legumes
green manure
Lucerne
nitrogen fixation
Medicago sativa
water use efficiency


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