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Soil Water Availability and Water Use of Crops from Contrasting Cropping Systems
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: 2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting 162458946.(doi:10.13031/aim.20162458946)
Authors: Axel Garcia y Garcia, Jeffrey S. Strock
Keywords: Evapotranspiration, water balance, water use efficiency, rotation, farming systems
Abstract. The intensification of cropping systems is a strategy to enhance the efficiency of resources use in crop production. The approach is particularly relevant to soil water conservation and crops water use in rainfed agriculture. The effect of cropping systems on soil available water and water use of crops grown in a humid and temperate climate was investigated. The study was conducted at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center located near Lamberton, MN during the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons. The treatments studied included an extended 4-yr crop rotation (oat/alfalfa-alfalfa-corn-soybean) using organic inputs (ORI) and high external inputs (HEI) and the traditional 2-yr corn-soybean rotation (HEI), with a prairie as the control treatment. Response variables included crops yield, soil moisture monitored at 10, 20, 40, 60, 100, and 200 cm using moisture-temperature sensors connected to a data logger for continuous measurement, and calculated and estimated crops water use. Our results suggest that the intensification of cropping systems has a positive effect on soil available water and crops water use.