Lentil Response to Nitrogen Application and Rhizobia Inoculation

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Lentils (Lens culinaris L.) are an important component of the dryland farming systems in the western USA. Optimum nitrogen (N) management can enhance yield and quality of lentils. We conducted a field (at two locations, one with previous history of lentil and the other one without lentil history) and a greenhouse study to evaluate response of lentil to the application of rhizobium inoculant and starter N (control, 22 kg N ha(-1) in the form of urea [U], 22 kg N ha(-1) in the form of slow-release or environmentally safe nitrogen [ESN], and 22 kg N ha(-1) U + 22 kg N ha(-1) ESN). In both, the field and the laboratory studies, lentil yield did not respond positively to the experimental treatments. Lentil average yield was 1216 and 1420 kg ha(-1) at the field condition. In this rain-fed system, lentil yield was mainly limited by moisture availability, and the application of an external N did not contribute to the yield enhancement. Both of these treatments, however, increased protein content. Compared to the control, the application of rhizobium plus U and ESN enhanced protein content by about 34% (from 23.1 to 30.9%). The application of U+ ESN also considerably increased postharvest residual nitrate (NO3)-N in the soil, which can be easily leached and creates environmental pollution. Briefly, the application of U+ ESN increases lentil protein content, but more efforts are needed to optimize N management in lentils in order to reduce the environmental concerns in the shallow soil.


Montana Agricultural Experiment Station; Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (948 2014-Z36)



Huang, Jinwen, Reza Keshavarz Afshar, and Chengci Chen. "Lentil Response to Nitrogen Application and Rhizobia Inoculation." Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 47, no. 21 (November 2016): 2458-2464. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00103624.2016.1254786.
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