Short term agronomic gains from conservation agriculture in NW China

McHugh, A. D. and Li, H. and Ma, Z. and Cao, X. and Zhang, L. (2011) Short term agronomic gains from conservation agriculture in NW China. In: WCCA 2011: Resilient Food Systems for a Changing World, 26-29 Sep 2011, Brisbane, Australia.

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Increased water infiltration and reduction in water and wind erosion is achieved through reduced tillage and retention of ground cover (Ma et al. 2006). So there is more than 4,000,000ha in 14 provinces under conservation tillage in China (Hejin et al. 2007). The challenge for Chinese agricultural is to broadly embrace Conservation Agriculture (CA). Wheel compaction problems can be overcome and significant system benefits achieved by the use of CA and controlled traffic farming (CTF) (Tullberg et al. 2007). Permanent raised bed (PRB) cropping gives positive control of surface water, while also providing the physical guidance system needed for CTF. PRB cropping is highly compatible with CA, and its effectiveness is well documented (Bachmann and Friedrich 2003). Changing soil management practices from intensive tillage to PRB alters the partitioning of the water balance, decreasing soil evaporation and increasing transpiration, infiltration and deep percolation, leading to increased yields and WUE (Wang et al. 2004a and 2004b). PRB plus CA is a way to combine profitable agricultural production with improved sustainability, which has been effective in a variety of agro-ecological zones (McGarry 2006). Key constraints to implementation of CA in NW China are the lack of appropriate machinery, the 'good farming' mindset of conventional tillage and competition for crop residues. However the impetus for CA is the increasing desertification and severe water restrictions imposed on farmers (Xie et al. 2005).

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions preventing deposit.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2012 07:50
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: Loess; permanent raised beds; conservation tillage; sustainable agriculture
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management

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