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 554255
Title Exploring optimal soil mulching to enhance maize yield and water use efficiency in dryland areas in China
Author(s) Gaimei, Liang; Yuguo, Wang; Baoliang, Chi; Nana, Li; Wenliang, Chen; Wei, Qin
Source Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B-Soil and Plant Science 68 (2018)3. - ISSN 0906-4710 - p. 273 - 282.
Department(s) Soil Biology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) dryland - maize yield - mulch - precipitation - Soil water

Water and nutrient availability significantly limits global crop production, especially for dryland agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions. To explore the optimal soil mulching options for the Loess Plateau in China, a 3-year field study was conducted to investigate the effects of various soil mulching practices on soil temperature and the water use and grain yield of spring maize. The treatments included traditional flat farming (CK), narrow plastic film mulch (NM), wide plastic film mulch (WM) and narrow plastic film mulch + maize straw mulch between rows (MS). The results showed that MS treatment increased consistently soil temperature during the initial stages of maize growth, and more importantly, it reduced diurnal temperature variation. MS also increased in soil water storage by 10.1%, leading to the highest water use efficiency (WUE = 30.9 kg ha−1 mm−1) over CK on 3 year average. MS significantly increased maize yield and net income of farmers by up to 20%, compared to CK. In conclusion, optimisation of soil mulching strategies significantly enhanced crop yield and water productivity in dryland agriculture in China. Our study provides important guidance for exploring better soil management practice for dryland agriculture in the other regions of the world.

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