Residual effect and nitrate leaching in grass-arable rotations: effect of grassland proportion, sward type and fertilizer history

  • Published source details Eriksen J., Askegaard M. & Søegaard K. (2008) Residual effect and nitrate leaching in grass-arable rotations: effect of grassland proportion, sward type and fertilizer history. Soil Use and Management, 24, 373-382.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Incorporate leys into crop rotation

Action Link
Soil Fertility
  1. Incorporate leys into crop rotation

    A replicated experiment from 1994 to 2006 on sandy-loam soil in Foulum, Denmark (Eriksen et al. 2008) found lower nitrogen uptake in 25% and 38% grassland leys than in a 75% grassland ley, therefore less fertilizer (average application 111 kg N/ha) was required to improve subsequent barley Hordeum vulgare crops, compared with after the 75% grassland ley (132 kg N/ha). Overall nitrogen uptake by perennial ryegrass was higher grown alone (126 kg N/ha), than in the perennial ryegrass-white clover Trifolium repens ley (109 kg N/ha) treatment.  Four replicates of two crop rotations (in 576 m2 plots) were established, including unfertilized ryegrass Lolium perenne-clover and fertilized (300 kg N/ha/y) ryegrass leys rotated with barley. Half of the barley plots were undersown with ryegrass. Each ley treatment was split into 25%, 38% and 75% grassland (remainder not specified). In 2002-2003, cattle slurry fertilizer was applied at three different rates: 0, 115 and 230 kg N/ha on 12 x 12 m plots. Up to 20 soil samples were taken periodically from each plot between 20-100 cm depth and soil carbon, nitrogen, nitrate and ammonium levels were measured.


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