|Title||Productivity and sustainability of rainfed wheat-soybean system in the North China Plain : Results from a long-term experiment and crop modelling|
|Author(s)||Qin, Wei; Wang, Daozhong; Guo, Xisheng; Yang, Taiming; Oenema, Oene|
|Source||Scientific Reports 5 (2015). - ISSN 2045-2322 - 16 p.|
Chair Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality
Alterra - Sustainable soil management
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
A quantitative understanding of yield response to water and nutrients is key to improving the productivity and sustainability of rainfed cropping systems. Here, we quantified the effects of rainfall, fertilization (NPK) and soil organic amendments (with straw and manure) on yields of a rainfed wheat-soybean system in the North China Plain (NCP), using 30-years' field experimental data (1982-2012) and the simulation model-AquaCrop. On average, wheat and soybean yields were 5 and 2.5 times higher in the fertilized treatments than in the unfertilized control (CK), respectively. Yields of fertilized treatments increased and yields of CK decreased over time. NPK + manure increased yields more than NPK alone or NPK + straw. The additional effect of manure is likely due to increased availability of K and micronutrients. Wheat yields were limited by rainfall and can be increased through soil mulching (15%) or irrigation (35%). In conclusion, combined applications of fertilizer NPK and manure were more effective in sustaining high crop yields than recommended fertilizer NPK applications. Manure applications led to strong accumulation of NPK and relatively low NPK use efficiencies. Water deficiency in wheat increased over time due to the steady increase in yields, suggesting that the need for soil mulching increases.