Predicting Nitrogen Release from Parabolic-type Resin-coated Urea in Greenhouse Tomato and Cucumber Production

in HortScience

Increasing commercial use of controlled release fertilizer (CRF) has prompted the need to predict N release simply and viably in the greenhouse environment. Two CRFs were tested, i.e., P40d and P100d by incubating them for 40 or 100 days either in static water at 10, 15, 20, 25, and 35 °C or in the soil of vegetable plots in a greenhouse lacking temperature controls. Cumulative nitrogen release (CNR) from a CRF was represented by a parabola curve and significantly affected by the incubation temperature. A method to calculate Nm (the maximum N release percentage from CRF) was established using a first-order kinetic equation and the method of least squares. Nm was 90.9% to 99.9% for P40d and 72.1% to 87.1% for P100d at 10–35 °C, respectively. A relationship function between the N release rate and naturally fluctuating greenhouse soil temperatures was established using the activation energy of the N release reaction. Then a model was constructed with field temperature as the variable to predict N release throughout the entire greenhouse crop production season. The value of ψ representing a property of the coating material of a CRF is 1.0 for the release period of the CRF of 35–55 days and 1.2 of 80–120 days. We validated the model using two seasons of greenhouse tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L., and cucumber, Cucumis sativus L., production data, and found that the error was less than 12% points. This indicated that the constructed model was sufficiently simple, practical, and accurate for use by growers, and fertilizer industry and regulatory personnel.

Contributor Notes

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Emeritus, Waldemar Klassen, University of Florida, for his instructive advice and useful suggestions on my thesis. We are deeply grateful of his help in the writing of this thesis. We are thankful to the national development plan focused on special projects “Developments of technology and products to preventing and controlling nitrogen and phosphorus leaching in main wheat and maize producing areas (No. 2017YFD0800604),” the National Natural Science Foundation (No. 31301847, 31301846), the Beijing Research Program of the Engineering Technology Research Center for providing the slow/controlled-release fertilizers, and to the ecological environmental effects and evaluation of once fertilization in wheat/maize rotation system (201303103) for financial support.

Corresponding authors. E-mail: xqiang1978@163.com or 609284507@qq.com.

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