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Soil organic carbon and clay content are deciding factors for cereal yields

Scientific Article

Article: Soil organic carbon and clay content as deciding factors for net nitrogen mineralization and cereal yields in boreal mineral soils

Authors: Soinne, Helena et al.

Publication: European Journal of Soil Science

Year: 2020

Soil organic carbon and clay contents affect nitrogen mineralisation, nitrogen fertilizer needs of crops, and yields in boreal mineral soils. To achieve appropriate yield levels, farmers often complement soil nitrogen supply by fertilization. Estimation of the inherent soil nitrogen supply is vital for avoiding the economic losses and negative environmental impacts caused by overapplication of nitrogen fertilizers. This study aimed to identify simple indicators of soil nitrogen supply applicable at the farm level. Clay soils with high clay/carbon ration were found to be at risk of low yield levels. Nitrogen mineralization reduced with the increasing clay/carbon ratio. Thus, according to this study, higher clay content of a field requires more organic carbon for achieving the adequate yields. In coarse-textured mineral soils, nitrogen use efficiency increased with increasing soil organic carbon.

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