Soil water dynamics and water use efficiency in spring maize (Zea mays L.) fields subjected to different water management practices on the Loess Plateau, China

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2010
Month Published: NA
Author: Liu, Yi ; Yang, Shenjiao ; Chen, Xinping ; Li, Shiqing ; Chen, Fang
Book Group Author: NA

Soil water supply is the main limiting factor to crop production across the Loess Plateau, China. A 2-year field experiment was conducted at the Changwu agro-ecosystem research station to evaluate various water management practices for achieving favorable grain yield (GY) with high water use efficiency (WUE) of spring maize (Zea mays L.). Four practices were examined: a rain-fed (RF) system as the control; supplementary irrigation (SI); film mulching (FM); and straw mulching (SM) (in 2008 only). The soil profile water storage (W) and the crop evapotranspiration (ET) levels were studied during the maize growing season, and the GY as well as the WUE were also compared. The results showed that mean soil water storage in the top 200cm of the profile was significantly (P <0.05) increased in the SI (380mm in 2007, 411mm in 2008) and SM (414mm in 2008) compared to the FM (361mm in 2007, 381mm in 2008) and RF (360mm in 2007, 384mm in 2008) treatments. The soil water content was lower at the end of growing season than before planting in the 60-140cm part of the profile in both the RF and FM treatments. Cumulative ET and average crop coefficiency (K c) throughout the whole maize growing season were significantly (P <0.05) higher in the SI (ET, 501mm in 2007, 431mm in 2008; K c, 1.0 in 2007, 0.9 in 2008) treatment than in the other treatments. Both FM and SI significantly improved the GY. The WUE were increased significantly (23-25%; P <0.05) under the FM treatment. It was concluded that both SI and FM are beneficial for improving the yield of spring maize on the Loess Plateau. However, FM is preferable because of the shortage of available water in the area.

Pages: 769 - 775
Volume: 97
Number: 5
Journal: Agricultural water management
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 03783774

plastic film mulches, irrigated farming, grain yield,dryland farming, evapotranspiration, soil water storage, straw,mulching, grain crops, soil water content, Zea mays, corn, watermanagement, field experimentation, water use efficiency, irrigationmanagement, China

Source: EBSCO
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