|Author:||He, Jin ; Li, HongWen ; Kuhn, N. J. ; Zhang, XueMin ; Li, WenYing|
|Book Group Author:||NA|
Poor lateral water infiltration into permanently raised beds (PRB) can reduce crop yield and water use efficiency (WUE) in dryland agriculture. Especially for densely planted crops the reduced soil moisture affects seedling emergence and causes slow crop growth. Soil loosening with three different types of cutters was tested to overcome this problem of wide PRB in this study. A field experiment with five treatments (traditional tillage, bed without soil loosening, bed with soil loosening by two-edge cutter, bed with soil loosening by flat cutter and bed with soil loosening by V-shaped cutter) was conducted in the Hexi Corridor, northwest China, on spring wheat in 2005 and 2006. The effects of soil loosening and the performances of the three cutters were assessed based on 2 years of soil moisture, bulk density, temperature, spring wheat growth, yield, WUE, power and fuel consumption data. Soil loosening significantly increased lateral water infiltration and thus improved soil water content by 3-8% to 100 cm depth and soil temperature by 0.2-0.4°C to 30 cm depth compared to beds without soil loosening on sandy-loam soil in 100 cm wide bed systems. Furthermore, bulk density at 10-20 cm depth was about 7.4% lower for bed with soil loosening treatments than for bed without soil loosening. The best results were achieved by the V-shaped cutter, which at a slight additional fuel consumption of 0.46-0.84 l ha-1 offered the greatest benefits to spring wheat yield and WUE. Spring wheat yields increased by 5% and WUE improved by 38% compared to traditional tillage due to higher soil moisture and temperature, lower bulk density and faster growth. The improvements in WUE have tremendous implications in the arid areas of northwest China where agriculture relies heavily on irrigation, but water resources are scarce. We conclude therefore that soil loosening by V-shaped cutter is an efficient way to remove poor water infiltration, and significantly improve yield and WUE for wide beds under PRB farming system in arid areas of northwest China.
|Pages:||172 - 183|
|Journal:||Soil & Tillage Research|
bulk density, crop yield, cultivation, cultivators, growth,infiltration, irrigation, loosening, plant water relations, soildensity, soil temperature, soil water content, tillage, water useefficiency, wheat, China, Gansu, Triticum, Triticum aestivum, East Asia,Asia, Developing Countries, North Western China, China, Triticum,Poaceae, Cyperales, monocotyledons, angiosperms, Spermatophyta, plants,eukaryotes, Kansu, soil cultivation, watering, Field Crops (FF005) (NewMarch 2000), Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (FF060), Plant WaterRelations (FF062), Plant Production (FF100), Soil Physics (JJ300), SoilWater Management (Irrigation and Drainage) (JJ800) (Revised June 2002)[formerly Soil Water Management], Soil Management (JJ900), Agriculturaland Forestry Equipment (General) (NN400)