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Campisi T.,Environmental Research and Service Center Med Ingegneria | Campisi T.,University of Bologna | Abbondanzi F.,Environmental Research and Service Center Med Ingegneria | Faccini B.,University of Ferrara | And 5 more authors.
Catena | Year: 2016

Nitrate leaching and the resulting groundwater contamination from intensive crop production has become a major concern for long-term farmland efficiency and environmental sustainability in Italy. The aim of this study was to evaluate a water-saving NH4-charged zeolitite (produced by a new prototype) for minimizing NO3-leaching from soil and optimizing corn growth and yield. Forty-eight zeolitite:soil lysimeters in two trials were installed in a greenhouse to study the growth and yield characteristics of maize (Zea mays) as well as the nitrate concentration in leachate under different fertilizing conditions (i.e., standard, high or 70%, medium or 50% and low or 30% of conventional fertilization rate) and NH4-charged zeolitite (control, 0; dose-1, 50tha-1 and dose-2, 100tha-1) treatments. The results implicitly suggest that plants may have a better response if NH4-charged zeolitite is used with a limited amount of conventional fertilizer, allowing a reduction of nitrate concentration in drainage. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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