Permanent raised bed configurations and renovation methods affect crop performance

Akbar, Ghani and Hamilton, Greg and Raine, Steven (2010) Permanent raised bed configurations and renovation methods affect crop performance. In: 19th World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS 2010): Soil Solutions for a Changing World, 1-6 Aug 2010, Brisbane, Australia.

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Permanent raised bed (PRB) configurations and renovation methods vary throughout the world depending on soil type, cropping pattern, farmer preferences, available machinery and local expertise. An increase in the bed width generally increases land use efficiency due to a smaller cropped land loss due to furrows. However, PRB configuration and seasonal pre-sowing renovation need careful selection due to their influence on crop production. Two experiments investigating PRB systems used for wheat-maize rotations were conducted over a ten year period on a silty clay loam in Pakistan. The use of PRBs generally resulted in higher yield, lower water application and higher Gross Production Water Use Indices (IGP) compared to traditional flat basin systems. Wide (180 cm) beds produced higher wheat (15%) and maize (26%) yields than the flat basin treatment during the first experiment. Maize yields were 10% higher than the basin treatment in the second experiment involving narrow (65 cm) and medium (130 cm) width beds while wheat yields were only marginally (<5%) higher. The lower water application in the PRB compared to basin treatments was found to be closely related to bed width. The narrow beds used 3-7% less water than the basins while the medium and wide beds used 16-17% and 18-22% less, respectively. The difference in IGP between the basin and PRB treatments was also found to be closely related to bed width with the IGP ranging from 13-18%, 30-31% and 43-70% higher for the narrow, medium and wide beds, respectively. Substantial differences in both bulk density and hydraulic conductivity were also found between the basin and bed treatments. Within the PRB treatments, the soil bulk density was lower and hydraulic conductivity higher when machinery track widths were matched to furrow spacing and bed renovation was conducted using horizontal blades which minimised bed disturbance and soil inversion.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2010 07:19
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2014 01:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: irrigation performance; lateral wetting; land preparation; zero till bed planter
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified

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