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Experimental Investigation of Water Use Efficiency under the Mixed Cropping System of Corn with Grasses

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032209,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13801) @2003
Authors:   Lei Tingwu, Zhan Weihua, Huang xingfa
Keywords:   Mixed cropping system, Water use efficiency, Corn, Rye, Alfalfa

A new cropping system of corn mixed with grasses was advanced to make full and efficient use of water and to easy environmental problems in grain and forage feed production practices. Field experiments were conducted to investigate the water use efficiency under this newly suggested model of corn-grasses mixture cropping system at the Farming Mechanization Experimental Station of China Agricultural University. Six treatments with 2 replicates were arranged as: bare field, corn only, rye only, alfalfa only, rye-corn mixture and alfalfa-corn mixture. Lysimeters were used to measure different components of water consumption in the crop fields for water use efficiency estimation with water balance equation. From the yields and water consumption of crops under different treatments, combined water use efficiency of corn and grasses were estimated. The results showed that WUEs in the mixed cropping fields of corn-grasses were much higher than those in the fields where only corn or grass was grown. Averaged WUE was 3.71 kg/m3 from the corn and rye mixture fields, 30% higher than that from the plots where only corn or rye was grown. Averaged WUE was 4.55 kg/m3 from the alfalfa and corn mixture fields, 60% higher than that from the fields where only corn or alfalfa was grown. Under the same conditions of irrigation, yields from the rye and corn mixture plots were increased by 33%, as compared with those from the fields where only corn or rye was grown. And the yields from alfalfa and corn mixture fields were 61% higher than those from the fields where only corn or alfalfa were grown. The experimental results also indicated that corn and alfalfa mixture cropping is better than corn-rye mixture system.

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