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Field Crops Research



ISSN: 0378-4290 (1872-6852)
Agronomy - Agronomy and Crop Science - Soil Science

Recent articles

1 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 27127733
Publication date: Available online 14 March 2018

Source: Field Crops Research
Author(s): Jose Rafael Guarin, Senthold Asseng, Pierre Martre, Nikolay Bliznyuk

Extreme weather events across the world cause large variations in daily seasonal temperature and precipitation, potentially reducing grain yield and negatively affecting global food security. Thus, it is important to assess if crop growth models can simulate the yield losses caused by these extreme weather events. We tested if the DSSAT-NWheat crop simulation model, which has been successfully validated with many controlled field-experimental data across the world, can reproduce historical extreme low-yielding years at three global locations in the USA, France, and Australia. The crop model reproduced extreme low yields in some of the driest and hottest years at all three locations. However, the model failed to simulate some of the observed extreme low-yielding years. Also, the model simulated extreme low yields in some years that were not extreme low yielding in the observed records. Surprisingly, some of the driest and hottest years did not show up as observed extreme low-yielding years in the district records. This discrepancy could be explained by reporting yields, or in this case “not reporting extreme low yields” in district records, as indicated by large drops in harvested areas in extreme dry and hot seasons. Other discrepancies exist because crop models do not often consider many factors under farmer-field conditions that lead to extreme low yields in district records, including frost, hail and lodging, pests and diseases, and excess water. Historical district yield records are also limited for model testing due to unknown and changing aggregation across a district, possible omission of extreme low-yielding fields in some years, and unknown spatial and temporal varying cultivars and crop management, particularly in initial soil water conditions. In conclusion, we do not recommend using historical district yield records for model testing of extreme low yields.
2 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 28398745
Publication date: Available online 17 November 2018

Source: Field Crops Research
Author(s): Fatima A.M. Tenorio, Alison J. Eagle, Eileen L. McLellan, Kenneth G. Cassman, Reka Howard, Fred E. Below, David E. Clay, Jeffrey A. Coulter, Allen B. Geyer, Darin K. Joos, Joseph G. Lauer, Mark A. Licht, Alexander J. Lindsey, Bijesh Maharjan, Cameron M. Pittelkow, Peter R. Thomison, Charles S. Wortmann, Victor O. Sadras, Patricio Grassini

Accurate estimation of nitrogen (N) balance (a measure of potential N losses) in producer fields requires information on grain N concentration (GNC) to estimate grain-N removal, which is rarely measured by producers. The objectives of this study were to (i) examine the degree to which variation in GNC can affect estimation of grain-N removal, (ii) identify major factors influencing GNC, and (iii) develop a predictive model to estimate GNC, analyzing the uncertainty in predicted grain-N removal at field and regional levels. We compiled GNC data from published literature and unpublished databases using explicit criteria to only include experiments that portray the environments and dominant management practices where maize is grown in the US North Central region, which accounts for one-third of global maize production. We assessed GNC variation using regression tree analysis and evaluated the ability of the resulting model to estimate grain-N removal relative to the current approach using a fixed GNC. Across all site-year-treatment cases, GNC averaged 1.15%, ranging from 0.76 to 1.66%. At any given grain yield, GNC varied substantially and resulted in large variation in estimated grain-N removal and N balance. However, compared with GNC, yield differences explained much more variability in grain-N removal. Our regression tree model accounted for 35% of the variation in GNC, and returned physiologically meaningful associations with mean air temperature and water balance in July (i.e., silking) and August (i.e., grain filling), and with N fertilizer rate. The predictive model has a slight advantage over the typical approach based on a fixed GNC for estimating grain-N removal for individual site-years (root mean square error: 17 versus 21 kg N ha−1, respectively). Estimates of grain-N removal with both approaches were more reliable when aggregated at climate-soil domain level relative to estimates for individual site-years.
3 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 28398746
Publication date: Available online 16 November 2018

Source: Field Crops Research
Author(s): Yanlong Yang, Minzhi Chen, Jingshan Tian, Fei Xiao, Shouzhen Xu, Wenqing Zuo, Wangfeng Zhang

Photosynthesis is the basis for yield formation, and the improvement of photosynthetic efficiency is one important way to improve crop yield. The objective of this experiment was to compare the photosynthetic characteristics of early-maturing cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) cultivars from four breeding eras in the northern half of China’s Xinjiang Region. The four cultivars in this study were as follows: (i) ‘Xinluzao 1’, representing era 1 (1980s); (ii) ‘Xinluzao 7’, representing era 2 (1990s); (iii) ‘Xinluzao 13’, representing era 3 (2000s); and (iv) ‘Xinluzao 45’, representing era 4 (2010s). The results showed that the yield increases can primarily be attributed to (i) increases in boll number and lint percentage between eras 1 and 4 and (ii) increases in photosynthetic rates during eras 3 and 4. Compared with the earlier cultivars, the era 3 and 4 cultivars had greater canopy apparent photosynthetic rates and canopy apparent photosynthetic light use efficiency during the mid- and late reproductive stages. The era 3 and 4 cultivars also maintained high leaf area index and high fractional interception of photosynthetically active radiation until boll opening. Furthermore, the era 4 cultivars had higher leaf photosynthetic rates during the late reproductive stage compared with earlier cultivars. Overall, these results indicated that improvements in photosynthetic capacity, especially during the mid- and late reproductive stages contributed to the yield increases in the era 3 and 4 cultivars.
4 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 29888993
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 236
Author(s): Jin Xu, Jihua Meng, Lindi J. Quackenbush

Accurate prediction of optimal harvest date (OHD) is important to maximize the yield of corn as it approaches maturity. Yield loss occurs if harvest occurs in advance of, or is delayed past, OHD; both scenarios are undesirable. If corn is harvested prematurely, high residual moisture makes it prone to mildew during storage, which produces aflatoxin. The grain quality then deteriorates, leading to a serious decrease in yield. If corn is harvested too late, the crop quality declines severely. Previous studies have demonstrated the utility of three corn kernel indicators (kernel moisture, milk line, black layer) in predicting corn harvest date; however, these indicators do not satisfy the demand of modern agriculture. Therefore, in this study, remote sensing techniques, which have proven useful in the application of Precision Agriculture, were used for timely estimation of OHD for large-area crops. We proposed a new method for predicting corn OHD in fields using remote sensing by assessing corn kernel moisture (CKM) and identifying an effective biochemical indicator to relate OHD and remote sensing data. We estimated CKM using canopy chlorophyll content (CCC), a significant biochemical parameter that can be estimated from remote sensing images using PROSAIL, a popular used radiative transfer model. Since CKM decreases at a regular rate after entering the maturity period, OHD can be predicted based on the estimated CKM using a baseline assumption that OHD occurs when CKM drops to 30%. The prediction method was evaluated by analyzing measured CKM, and the temporal variation in one hundred-grain weight and yield. The results of this study enabled us to successfully and accurately estimate CKM using a non-linear model (R
2 = 0.92) and predict CKM (R
2 = 0.64) and corn OHD. This study provides new avenues for predicting crop OHD using remote sensing multispectral imagery and suggests that remote sensing techniques are effective for accurately predicting corn OHD across large areas.
5 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 29927538
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 236
Author(s): M. Blümmel, S.R. Updahyay, N. Gautam, N.C.D Barma, M. Abdul Hakim, Makhdoom Hussain, Muhammad Yaqub Mujahid, R. Chatrath, V.S. Sohu, G. Mavi, V.K. Mishra, I.K. Kalappanavar, Rudra Naik, Suma Biradar, S.V.S. Prasad, Ravi P. Singh, A.K. Joshi

The paper compares food and straw fodder traits in wheat lines of 6 different CIMMYT wheat trials tested across 32 environments of South Asia (India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan). Experiments were conducted in the main spring wheat season with sowing time of mid-November to mid-December and harvest between March to April. Investigated and compared were grain yield (GY), straw yield (SY), straw nitrogen (N) content, neutral (NDF) and acid (ADF) detergent fiber, acid detergent lignin (ADL), and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD). Highly significant (P < 0.0001) differences were observed between cultivar types for all traits. The proportional ranges in traits between the cultivar types were high for GY and SY (>60%), considerable (45%) for HI and straw N (40%), moderate for ADL (18%), and minor for NDF, ADF, and IVOMD (<10%). Across cultivar types GY and SY were significantly positive correlated but GY accounted for only 14% of the variation in SY. Positive fodder traits such as N and IVOMD tended to be negatively associated with GY, whereas negative traits such as NDF, ADF and ADL were positively associated with GY, significantly so (P < 0.05) in the cases of ADF and ADL. Except for one case, broad sense h2 were stronger for GY than for SY. Among straw fodder quality traits, the negative fodder quality traits ADF showed the highest h2 for all quality traits, with the exception of the two drought trials.
Across all cultivar types only ADF was significantly (P < 0.05) positively related to GY. No significant (P > 0.05) relationships were observed between N, ADF and IVOMD and SY. Among cultivars consistent relationships were only observed between N and GY which were significantly (P = 0.03 to 0.009) inversely correlated in five out of the six cultivar types. Within cultivars types ADF varied by at least 2.3% units in HTNM and 1st DRYT and up to 4.9% units in ESWYT. By extrapolation such cultivar-dependent differences will matter at wheat straw trading.
6 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 29998830
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 236
Author(s): S.L. Jat, C.M. Parihar, A.K. Singh, H.S. Nayak, B.R. Meena, B. Kumar, M.D. Parihar, M.L. Jat

Under the present scenario of resource degradation, shortage of water & labour, growing production cost, falling water tables as well as farm profitability and climate-change; the sustainability of traditional rice-wheat (RW) system became a major challenge in Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP). Therefore, to address these issues in India’s, north-western IGP, RW system need to be diversified with conservation agriculture (CA) based profitable and sustainable systems. Full CA based crop production technologies may furnish more yield, reduce water need and enhance farm profitability, without hampering the sustainability of natural resources. So in an established on-going long term study (since 2012), we assessed the medium term-impact of four different nitrogen management practices [Un-fertilized, N through Prilled urea (PU), N through Sulphur coated urea (SCU) and N through Neem coated urea (NCU)] in residue retained permanent bed (PB + R) vs. residue removed permanent bed (PB-R) plots under maize-mustard-mungbean (MMuMb) and maize-wheat-mungbean (MWMb) crop rotations. Results showed that, the maize, wheat and mustard yields were statistically similar in first year of study irrespective of residue retention or removal, whereas during subsequent years, yields of maize, wheat and mustard were significantly (P < 0.05) higher by 10.1–16.7%, 9.3–23.6% and 13.6–21.9% under residue retained plots (full CA) than residue removed plots (partial CA), respectively. However, the mungbean yield was significantly (P < 0.05) greater by 12.4–24.3% in residue retained plots right from first year onwards. In permanent bed plots, residue retention reduced the water requirement by 50–55 ha-mm, and improved water productivity by 9.4–27.6%, 17.7–30.4%, 21.7–42.6% and 33–57.2% in maize, wheat, mustard and mungbean, respectively compared to no residue plots. Economic profit for MMuMb (from 2nd year onward) and MWMb rotations (in all the 5-years) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher by 220–464 and 165–474 US$/ha/year, respectively in residue retained plots compared to residue removed plots. Among N management practices, application of neem and sulphur coated urea significantly improved the individual crops yield, water productivity and system profitability compared to un-fertilized both under residue retained and removed plots. However, across the cropping systems the effectiveness of different N sources varied with residue management, as the annual increment in system productivity of SCU treated and residue retained plots under MMuMb system was about thrice than the residue removed plots. Whereas, in MWMb system the annual increment in system productivity was double in NCU treated and residue retained plots as compared to residue removed plots. Effectiveness of PU was not increased with residue retention in maize and mustard, whereas in wheat both the coated and uncoated urea application increased the annual yield by manifolds. Findings of this study support differential opportunity of residue management and suggest that a combination of full CA-based MMuMb/MWMb system with use of proper N sources [like slow release coated fertilizers (NCU/SCU)] could augment the system productivity, resource-use efficiency, farm profitability, while sustaining the natural resources in Western IGP in India and other similar agro-ecologies.
7 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 29998831
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 236
Author(s): Shumin Han, Yonghui Yang, Huilong Li, Yanmin Yang, Jiusheng Wang, Jiansheng Cao

A 3-year field experiment was conducted in Aksu region in Northwest China to determine crop water use, suitable irrigation mode and actual crop coefficient (Kc) in drip-irrigated cotton fields. In the experiment, 12 non-weighing large lysimeters were used to measure cotton water use under various irrigation modes. Then a micro-lysimeter was placed in each large lysimeter to monitor soil evaporation (E). Adjustments were done for a number of factors (including irrigation, meteorology, plastic mulching, water stress and salinity stress) in order to compare FAO-adjusted Kc (Kc-FAO) with the local actual Kc (Kc-loc). The results showed that: 1) plastic mulching with 0.6 cover ratio and 37.5 mm drip irrigation quota gave a crop water requirement of 536.4 mm; which was suitable for the study area. Also Kc-loc were respectively 0.28, 0.97 and 0.31 for early, middle and late growth stages. 2) Kc-FAO generally reflected the trend in Kc-loc for the entire growing season. The suggested 0.1 adjusted coefficient under plastic mulching for the initial growth stage was relatively low, and was most rational for the study area when increased to 0.25. 3) E/ET ratio was low (19.1–24.5%) under mulching treatment and relatively high (27.7–32.7%) under non-mulching treatment. 4) While change in E/ETo ratio was linear or logarithmic, that in T/ETo ratio was a power function of the canopy cover. Also the two rates responded to the interaction effects of canopy cover and soil water content. The results could lay the basis for developing scientific, data-driven water-saving strategies in the study area and elsewhere.
8 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 30031674
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 236
Author(s): Reiner Wassmann, Ngo Dang Phong, Tran Quang Tho, Chu Thai Hoanh, Nguyen Huy Khoi, Nguyen Xuan Hien, Thi Bach Thuong Vo, To Phuc Tuong

The rationale for mapping hydrological risks in the Mekong River Delta (MRD) is the large extent of flood-affected and salinity-affected areas that severely constrain rice production. This new study on risk mapping expands previous approaches in depth (resolutions of 300 × 300 m and 1 h) and width (combining different types of maps). Data obtained with a hydrological model have been evaluated through four different methods of mapping individual attributes of risks that collectively comprise a comprehensive risk assessment for rice production:
1) Peak risk maps: These maps show the maximum water heights in a high-water year and maximum salinity concentrations in a low-water year.
2) Time-sequenced risk maps: The article provides hyperlinks to videos that encompass time-sequenced maps for the critical periods of floods (July-December in daily intervals) and salinity (March-April in hourly intervals) for all provinces.
3) Sustained risk maps (for rice): This approach is based on clearly defined thresholds of flood and salinity risks considering the duration of risk exposure at a given location. We have set thresholds for water heights exceeding 0.4 m and salinity concentrations above 2 g/l for 7 consecutive days to define start and end dates of sustained risks for rice.
4) Risk profile maps (for rice): The data on sustained risk have been aggregated at province level to calculate the geographic coverage of risk areas as compared with the total rice area.
The rice area exposed to sustained flood risks in the MRD comprises 39% of the total rice area, which can be further subdivided into 24% with long (>three months), 12% with moderate (1–3 months), and 3% with short (1–4 weeks) risk duration. Likewise, the salinity-prone rice area accounts for 44% of the total rice area and can be subdivided into 31% with long, 8% with medium, and 5% with short risk duration. Finally, we have discussed the pros and cons of these different risk mapping methods in view of required adaptation strategies for rice production to cope with rapidly changing environmental conditions.
9 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 30056382
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 236
Author(s): Leran Wang, Wei Hu, Rizwan Zahoor, Xiaoni Yang, Youhua Wang, Zhiguo Zhou, Yali Meng

Cotton in double cropping systems (rapeseed-cotton or wheat-cotton) is often late-planted and experiences a much longer period of cool temperature at the late growth stage, which impairs seed quality. A two-year field experiment with two planting dates (normal and late planting date) was conducted to investigate the effects of late planting on cottonseed vigor and its relationship with seed biomass accumulation and kernel antioxidant metabolism during seed development. With the delay of planting date and the increasing height of fruiting branches, the mean daily temperature during boll period decreased from 25.9 °C to 20.7°C. Meanwhile, the seed, kernel and vigor index decreased by 2.6–12.1%, 4.7–15.0% and 2.5–16.0% respectively. The direct path coefficient of growing degree days (GDD) and the indirect path coefficients via GDD for seed, kernel and vigor index were positive and high. Seed vigor was more sensitive to the change of kernel index than seed index and the cool temperature limited the accumulation of kernel biomass mainly via reducing the maximum velocity of kernel biomass accumulation (Vmax), which led to a significant decline in seed vigor especially in the late planting date. Under cool temperature caused by late planting, the time of the maximum activity for each H2O2-scavenging enzyme was postponed with their maximum activities being decreased, which caused slow reduction in the content of malondialdehyde and H2O2 content during the late stage of seed development. In addition, peroxidase (POD) had the closest correlation with cottonseed vigor compared with catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and glutathione reductase. Altogether, low seed vigor occurred in late planting could be attributed to the decreased kernel biomass and prolonged duration of oxidative damage on membranes caused by cool temperature. The GDD of boll period is valuable for estimating cottonseed harvesting time especially under late planting conditions and seeds with high POD activity are more tolerant to cool temperature.
10 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 30109660
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 237
Author(s): Xiao-Ying Pan, Jiu-Yu Li, Kai-Ying Deng, Ren-Kou Xu, Ren-Fang Shen

A four-year field experiment was conducted in Langxi, Anhui province, China to investigate the ameliorated effects of various amendments on soil acidity, soil fertility properties, yields of canola seeds and sweet potato, nutrients uptake, and nitrogen utilization efficiency by the crops. The nine treatments used were control, lime, alkaline slag (AS), peanut straw (PS), canola straw (CS), organic manure (OM), AS + PS, AS + CS, AS + OM. The chemical fertilizers with 150.0 kg ha−1 N, 150.0 kg ha−1 P2O5, and 150.0 kg ha−1 K2O were applied for all treatments in canola season, while 90.0 kg ha-1 N, 90.0 kg ha−1 P2O5, and 90.0 kg ha−1 K2O in sweet potato season. Application of lime, AS, AS + PS, AS + CS, and AS + OM increased soil pH and decreased soil exchangeable Al3+. AS + OM showed the greatest ameliorating effect on soil acidity, and soil pH of the treatment increased by 0.45 compared with control. Application of AS + OM also led to greater reduction in soil exchangeable Al3+ and greater increase in soil exchangeable calcium and magnesium compared with lime, AS, AS + PS, and AS + CS. Applying amendments alone and combined promoted the physiological nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE) and nitrogen partial factor productivity (PFPN) of canola and sweet potato, thus increased the uptake of N, P, K, Ca, and Mg by the crops, and the yields of canola seeds and sweet potato. The application of AS + OM showed the greatest effect on the PFPN of canola among the treatments, while AS + CS was the best treatment for sweet potato in this aspect. The yield of canola seeds in AS + OM treatment was 2.61 Mg ha-1, and 5.84 times greater than that of control, while that of sweet potato in AS + CS treatment was 8.07 Mg ha-1, and 32% greater than control. In conclusion, AS + CS, AS + PS, and AS + OM were the good way to ameliorate soil acidity, increase use efficiency of nutrients and promote crop production and the AS + OM is the best one in these treatments.
11 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 30109661
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 236
Author(s): S. Carolina Córdova, Michael J. Castellano, Ranae Dietzel, Mark A. Licht, Kaitlin Togliatti, Rafael Martinez-Feria, Sotirios V. Archontoulis

The rainfed USA Midwestern region has deep, fertile soils and leads the USA in soybean [Glycine max, (L.) Merr.] production. Biological nitrogen (N) fixation (BNF) contributes a portion of the soybean N requirement, but variability in BNF is poorly understood and estimates of BNF for this region are rare. We established experiments in Iowa, USA to gain a better understanding of BNF and increase its predictability. We collected in-season BNF measurements accompanied by high temporal resolution soil and plant growth measurements. Across two years, two locations and two planting dates, we found that BNF contributed 23–65% of total aboveground N accumulation in soybean. The BNF rate was maximized at the early seed-filling period and varied from 1 to 3 kg N ha−1day−1. During seed filling period, the rate of BNF was related to crop growth rate (carbon (C) supply) but not to N accumulation by the reproductive organs (N demand). We found that a minimum crop growth rate of 135 kg dry matter ha−1day-1 is required to sustain maximum BNF rates. In contrast to BNF, the soil inorganic N uptake rate was related to seed N demand but not to C supply. Biomass production was the best predictor of total soybean BNF (R2> 0.83). On average, 0.013 kg N was fixed per kg biomass produced. Across all trials, the N exported via seed was greater than the N imported via BNF, which suggests that Midwest US soybeans may reduce soil organic matter. We concluded that future research efforts should focus on increasing C – rather than N – availability during the seed filling period towards improving both grain yields and environmental sustainability.
12 show abstract
0378-4290 * * 30140032
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Source: Field Crops Research, Volume 236
Author(s): P. De Bauw, E. Vandamme, K. Senthilkumar, A. Lupembe, E. Smolders, R. Merckx

Lowland rice production in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is often limited by water supply and low phosphorus (P) availability and efforts are needed towards more efficient management of both resources. Field and pot experiments were set up to evaluate combinations of water saving technologies and micro-dose P placement methods (i.e. the localized application of a small P dose to a sub-surface area, often combined with seeds into the planting hole) with due attention to treatment effects on root architecture. A two-year field experiment was set up in a lowland rice field in Tanzania with factorial combinations of different levels of water supply (field capacity, alternating wetting drying, permanent flooding) and P application (no P; 3.45 and 6.90 kg ha−1 placement versus 25 kg ha−1 broadcast), thereby testing residual effects in year 2. A trial in pots (10.5 L) was additionally performed with equivalent treatments and allowing measurements of soil solution composition, apparent fertilizer efficiency, and root density versus depth. Rice grain yields ranged 0–5 ton ha−1 and mainly responded to P application. The P placement at the lowest P rate resulted in higher grain yield at field capacity (2.0–2.5 ton ha−1) than in flooded rice (1.2–1.6 ton ha−1), whereas these differences were absent at higher P rates. Lower water supply at field capacity enhanced root growth and rooting depth, decreased nodal root thickness and enhanced root P uptake efficiency compared to flooded condition. Modelling P diffusion outwards the granules showed more restricted P diffusion under reduced water supply and, therefore, less P immobilization in the soil under field capacity. These differences between water treatments were more pronounced at lower than at higher P supply. This study shows that both root responses and P diffusion outwards placed granules explain rice development and yields under micro-dose P placement and water saving technologies. P placement can contribute to intensify rice production while countering soil P decline in P deficient lowlands when resources are limited.

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Journal Citation Reports (2017)

Impact factor: 3.127
Q1 (Agronomy (11/87))

Scopus Journal Metrics (2017)

SJR: 1.474
SNIP: 1.988
Impact (Scopus CiteScore): 0.382
Quartile: Q1
CiteScore percentile: 93%
CiteScore rank: 20 out of 309
Cited by WUR staff: 1046 times. (2014-2016)

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