He, Jin and Li, Hongwen and McHugh, A. D. and Ma, Zhongming and Cao, Xinhui and Wang, Qingjie and Zhang, Xuemin and Zhang, Xirui (2008) Spring wheat performance and water use efficiency on permanent raised beds in arid northwest China. Soil Research, 46 (8). pp. 659-666. ISSN 0004-9573
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SR07229
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1071/SR07229
Permanent raised beds have been proposed as a more productive and water-efficient alternative to the conventional system of flat, flood-irrigated bays for planting narrow-spaced crops in arid north-west China. Data from a field experiment (2005–2007) conducted in the Hexi Corridor at Zhangye, Gansu Province, China, were used to compared the effects of traditional tillage (TT), zero tillage (ZT), and permanent raised beds (PRB) on crop growth, yield, and water use in a spring wheat monoculture. The results show that PRB significantly (P < 0.05) increased soil water content to 0.30 m depth by 7.2–10.7% and soil temperature to 0.05 m depth by 0.2–0.9°C during the wheat-growing period relative to TT and ZT treatments. Bulk density in 0–0.10 m soil layer under PRB was also 5.8% less than for flat planting treatments. Mean wheat yields over 3 years on PRB plots were slightly greater and furrow irrigation in permanent beds was particularly effective in increasing irrigation water use efficiency (~18%), compared with TT and ZT treatments. This increase in water use efficiency is of considerable importance for these arid areas where irrigation water resources are scarce.
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