Controlled traffic farming with no tillage for improved fallow water storage and crop yield on the Chinese Loess Plateau

Wang, Qingjie and Chen, Hao and Li, Hongwen and Li, Wenying and Wang, Xiaoyan and McHugh, A. D. and He, Jin and Gao, Huanwen (2009) Controlled traffic farming with no tillage for improved fallow water storage and crop yield on the Chinese Loess Plateau. Soil and Tillage Research, 104 (1). pp. 192-197. ISSN 0167-1987

Abstract

On the semi-arid Loess Plateau of northern China, water is typically the biggest constraint to rainfed wheat production. Controlled traffic, combined with zero tillage and residue cover has been proposed to improve soil water, crop yield and water use efficiency. From 1998 to 2005, we conducted a field experiment comparing the water storage and wheat productivity of controlled traffic farming and conventional tillage farming. Three treatments were studied: controlled traffic with no tillage and full residue cover (NTCN), controlled traffic with shallow tillage and full residue cover (STCN) and random traffic with traditional tillage and partial residue cover (CT). Compared to CT, the controlled traffic treatments significantly reduced soil bulk density in 10-20 cm soil layer, significantly increased soil water content in the 0-150 cm soil profile at sowing, 9.3% for NTCN, 9.6% for STCN. These effects were greater in dry seasons, thus reducing the yearly variation in water conservation. Consequently, mean wheat yield of NTCN, STCN and CT were 3.25, 3.27 and 3.05 t ha-1, respectively, in which controlled traffic treatments increased by 6.9% with less yearly variation, compared to traditional tillage. Furthermore, controlled traffic had greater economic benefits than conventional tillage. Within controlled traffic treatments, NTCN showed better overall performance. In conclusion, controlled traffic farming has a better performance with respect to conserving water, improves yields and increases economic benefits. No tillage controlled traffic farming appears to be a solution to the water problem facing farmers on the Loess Plateau of China.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2008 Elsevier B.V. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 01:19
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2014 05:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: amelioration; available water capacity; bulk density; compaction; controlled traffic; permanent beds; zero tillage; macropore density; Vertosol
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040607 Surface Processes
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.still.2008.10.012
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26291

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