Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 496976
Title Effects of variation in rainfall on rainfed crop yields and water use in dryland farming areas in China
Author(s) Wang, Xiaobin; Cai, Diangxiong; Wu, Huijin; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Oenema, O.
Source Arid Land Research and Management 30 (2016)1. - ISSN 1532-4982 - p. 1 - 24.
Department(s) ATV Farm Technology
ATV Agrarische Bedrijfstechnologie
Farm Technology Group
Alterra - Sustainable soil management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Dryland farming - Variation - Rainfall
Abstract Crop production in the dryland farming areas of northern China is constrained by low and variable rainfall. This article presents the analysis of the relationships between variations in rainfall and yields of winter wheat and spring maize. The analysis is based on data from both several short-term and our ongoing long-term field experiments in dryland farming research projects in Tunliu, Linfen, Shouyang, and Luoyang. Grain yields of wheat and maize ranged from 1,548 to 5,169 and from 2,612 to 8,789 kg ha-1 respectively, with differences up to above 200% (between dry and wet years). Wheat yields are sensitive to growing season rainfall but also correlated to water use (ET), whereas maize yields are sensitive to the critical time of water supply (especially June rainfall) but not correlated to ET. The ratio of grain yields to soil water at sowing is an important indicator, showing close relationships between yields and soil water-related ratio within the rainfed crops site. Comparison between the indices of water use efficiency (WUE) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) suggests that the index WUE is more grain-related indicator than the PUE used for assessing rainfed crop water use by both maize and wheat. The index PUE should be used in caution, especially for wheat crops in dry years. Our results indicate that options to alleviate crop moisture stress must be tailored to the rainfall pattern. This holds especially for conservation tillage with response nutrient management practices that aim at enhancing water use efficiency.
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