African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6862

Effects of soil properties and agronomic practices on wheat yield variability in Fengqiu County of North China Plain

Junfeng Zhang1,2, Qin Liu1, Mengjie Xu2 and Bingzi Zhao1*
1 Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.71 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008 China.  2College of Public Administration, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 February 2012
  •  Published: 19 March 2012


To produce sufficient food with limited arable lands has been a challenging issue. Thus, identification of 
the main factors influencing crop productivity has attracted the attention of many researchers. Fengqiu 
County of Henan Province, located in North China was chosen as study area; soil property and 
agronomic practice data of 111 sites were collected during the 2009 growing season. Measurement on 
soil parameters were made on top-soil (0 to 20 cm) and sub-surface soil (20 to 40 cm) of sampling sites, 
while agronomic practices data were obtained through survey using questioner. The relative importance 
of soil parameters and agronomic practices in influencing yield variability was analyzed with step-wise
linear regression analysis and classification and regression tree (CART) model. The results showed that 
the level of soil nutrient content in the study area was relatively low. Soil electrical conductivity (EC) 
was the most important parameter in determining wheat yield variability. Agronomic practices had great
impact on wheat yield. Among the variables of agronomic practices, nitrogen fertilizer rates was the 
most crucial for wheat production. In order to increase local wheat yields in region scale, some 
management practices, such as scientific irrigation, manure application for improving soil fertility, 
should be implemented. The recommended quantity of nitrogen fertilizer ranged between 1.34 and 2.60 
q/ha with higher wheat yields. 
Key words: Wheat yield, soil properties, agronomic practices, nitrogen fertilizer, classification and regression 
tree (CART).