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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 563: International Conference on Environmental Problems Associated with Nitrogen Fertilisation of Field Grown Vegetable Crops

A COMPARISON OF FERTILISER RECOMMENDATION SYSTEMS FOR CAULIFLOWERS IN EUROPE

Authors:   C. Rahn, S. De Neve, B. Bath, V. Bianco, M. Dachler, C. Cordovil, M. Fink, C. Gysi, G. Hofman, M. Koivunen, L. Panagiotopoulos, D. Poulain, C. Ramos, H. Riley, H. Setatou, J. Sorensen, H. Titulaer, U. Weier
Keywords:   nitrogen, cauliflower, soil mineral N
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2001.563.3
Abstract:
Nitrogen fertiliser recommendation systems from 15 European countries were compared as part of ENVEG; an EU funded project investigating environmental problems associated with the nitrogen fertilisation of field grown vegetable crops. Data from experiments testing the N response of summer cauliflowers in three fields in the UK were selected for the comparison. For all fields detailed information on previous crops, expected dry matter yield, and mineral N at planting was available. In fields 1 and 3 cauliflowers followed cereals, and in field 2 cauliflowers followed cauliflowers. The recommendation systems compared ranged in complexity from those based on experience, or on simple look up tables, to those relying on measurements of soil mineral N and computer models. In some countries no system was available for the summer cauliflower crop. However in spite of the diverse systems the fertiliser recommendations were in the same range and similar to the N optima predicted from the fit of a linear exponential curve to the yield data. Expected yield was an important factor in many systems and recommendations were unrealistic when based on UK yields especially where national yield expectations in less favorable growing conditions were lower. Recommendation systems which used measurements of mineral N before planting had the advantage of reducing N recommendations for the field 2 (i.e. field 2 had a very high mineral N at planting). Where larger amounts of N were applied than recommended, experiments showed that excessive amounts of potentially leachable mineral N could be left at harvest.

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