Improving nutrient management knowledge in rainfed wheat cropping system of Algeria


02 Jun 2018

2017 Annual Interpretive Summary

This project was initiated in 2014 with the objective to develop a Nutrient Expert® (NE) fertilizer decision support tool for Algerian farmers and extension specialists to implement appropriate nutrient management practices for wheat production in rain-fed areas. In the 2016-2017 cropping season, eight nutrient omission trials were established in the region of Tiaret, located in the north west of Algeria. Each on-farm experimental plot was planted with bread wheat (BW) and durum wheat (DW) under seven nutrient treatments (kg/ha): 1) optimum treatment (OPT) (140 kg N + 60 Kg P2O5 + 36 kg K2O for DW and 120 kg N + 48 kg P2O5 + 34 kg K2O for BW); 2) omitting nitrogen (N) from OPT; 3) omitting phosphorus (P) from OPT, (4) omitting potassium (K) from OPT; 5) control (without fertilizers); 6) site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) (according to NE recommendations); and 7) farmer fertilizer practice (FFP).

The sowing date was between the period of December 11-16, 2016. The sources of fertilizer used in the experiment were triple super phosphate (TSP) for P, potassium sulfate for K, and urea for N. The cumulated rainfall in the 2016-2017 cropping season was 344 mm, with 41% of the total rain registered in the month of January. Also, spring was very dry, with only 50.2 mm rainfall in four days. Experimental results showed that the average grain yields of DW and BW in the OPT treatment were 2.6 t/ha and 2.7 t/ha, respectively. The control treatment reduced the grain yield by 11% and 18% for BW and DW respectively over OPT. The omission of N, P, and K had no significant effect on grain yield of DW. In BW, the omission of P and K had no significant effect on the grain yield, however omitting N reduced the grain yield by 14% over OPT. For both species of wheat, the average grain yield of FFP treatment was 22% less than the OPT. Fertilizers recommendations based on SSNM increased the average grain yield of wheat by 22% compared to FFP. The project will continue for at least one more cropping season.