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Hou X.-Q.,Northwest University, China | Wang W.,Northwest University, China | Han Q.-F.,Northwest University, China | Jia Z.-K.,Northwest University, China | And 3 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2011

In 2007-2010, a field experiment was conducted to study the effects of different rotational tillage practices during summer follow on the soil water regime and grain yield in a winter wheat field in Southern Ningxia arid area. Three treatments were installed, i. e., T1(no-tillage in first year, subsoiling in second year, and no-tillage in third year), T2(subsoiling in first year, no-tillage in second year, and subsoiling in third year), and CT(conventional tillage in the 3 years). Through the three years of the tillage practices, the soil water storage efficiency in treatments T1 and T2 was increased averagely by 15.2% and 26.5%, respectively, as compared to CT. In treatments T1 and T2, the potential rainfall use rate was higher, being 37.8% and 38.5%, respectively, and the rainfall use efficiency was increased averagely by 9.9% and 10.7%, respectively, as compared to CT. Rotational tillage during summer fallow could decrease the soil ineffective evaporation significantly, and save the soil water effectively in wheat growth season. At early growth stage, the water storage in 0-200 cm soil layer in treatments T1 and T2 was increased averagely by 6.8% and 9.4%, as compared to CT; at jointing, heading, and filling stages, the water storage in 0-200 cm soil layer in treatments T1 and T2 had a significant increase, giving greater contribution to the wheat yield than the control. Different rotational tillage practices increased the water consumption by wheat, but in the meantime, increased the grain yield and water use efficiency. In treatments T1and T2, the water consumption by wheat through the three years was increased averagely by 5.2% and 6.1%, whereas the grain yield and the water use efficiency were increased averagely by 9.9% and 10.6%, and by 4.5% and 4.3%, respectively, as compared to CT. Correlation analysis showed that in Southern Ningxia arid area, the soil water storage at sowing, jointing, heading, and filling stages, especially at heading stage, could have significant effects on the winter wheat grain yield. Source


Zhang P.,Northwest University, China | Wei T.,Northwest University, China | Jia Z.,Northwest University, China | Han Q.,Northwest University, China | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The soil degradation caused by conventional tillage in rain-fed areas of northwest China is known to reduce the water-use efficiency and crop yield because of reduced soil porosity and the decreased availability of soil water and nutrients. Thus, we investigated the effects of straw incorporation on soil aggregates with different straw incorporation rates in semiarid areas of southern Ningxia for a three-year period (2008-2010). Four treatments were tested: (i) no straw incorporation (CK); (ii) incorporation of maize straw at a low rate of 4 500 kg ha-1 (L); (iii) incorporation of maize straw at a medium rate of 9000 kg ha-1 (M); (iv) incorporation of maize straw at a high rate of 13 500 kg ha-1 (H). The results in the final year of treatments (2010) showed that the mean soil organic carbon storage of the 0-60 cm soil layers were significantly (P<0.05) increased with H, M, and L, by 21.40%, 20.38% and 8.21% compared with CK, respectively. Straw incorporation increased >0.25 mm water-stable macroaggregates level, geometric mean diameter, mean weight diameter and the aggregate stability, which were ranked in order of increasing straw incorporation rates: H/M > L > CK. Straw incorporation significantly (P<0.05) reduced the fractal dimension in the 0-40 cm soil layers compared with CK. Our results suggest that straw incorporation is an effective practice for improving the soil aggregate structure and stability. © 2014 Zhang et al. Source


Hou X.,Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University | Hou X.,Key Laboratory of Crop Physi ecology and Tillage Science in Northwestern Loess Plateau | Li R.,Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University | Li R.,Key Laboratory of Crop Physi ecology and Tillage Science in Northwestern Loess Plateau | And 7 more authors.
Nongye Gongcheng Xuebao/Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering | Year: 2012

In order to seek the response of soil water dynamics and crop yields under the rotation of planting and fallow patterns, a four-year field study was conducted between 2007 and 2010 to determine the effects of the interval rotation of strip planting and fallow on soil water and crop yields in semi-arid areas of southern Ningxia, China. Results showed that compared with the interval rotation of no strip planting and fallow (CK), the interval rotation of strip planting and fallow contributed to improving the capacity of soil water conservation to collect rainfall, and significantly increased the soil water storage (0-200 cm) through the four-year experiment. During the jointing and heading stage, the vertical change of soil water content in 0-200 cm layers under different treatment showed different trends, which was significant higher in the rotation of strip planting and fallow than that in the interval rotation of no strip planting and fallow patterns. Crop yields with the interval rotation of strip planting and fallow patterns were significantly different from the interval rotation of no strip planting and fallow patterns. Compared with the interval rotation of no strip planting and fallow patterns, the millet yields increased by 8.79%-15.25% in the interval rotation of strip planting and fallow patterns, and the winter wheat yields increased by 6.33%-14.69%. These results have important significances for soil amendment and crop production in the slopping land of arid areas. Source


Lu H.,Northwest University, China | Jia Z.,Northwest University, China | Yang B.,Northwest University, China | Li Y.,Guyuan Institute of Agricultural science | Liu S.,Guyuan Institute of Agricultural science
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2010

On 15°sloping field in dry areas of south Ningxia province, the crop yield, morphological index, water use efficiency and soil erosion characteristics were researched about seven different types of strip intercropping of grain-grass (Millet and Alfalfa) and sloe cropping of grain (Millet) during May 2007 to October 2008. The results were showed that: Compared with sloe cropping of grain, other seven different types of strip intercropping of grain-grass(4'A, 4:6, 6:4, 6:6, 6:8, 8:6, 8:8) increased leaf area and quality of single plant significantly. The intercropping of grain-grass patterns increased crop water use efficiency by 0. 99kg/m3- 1. 57kg/m3 and crop yield by 3. 02% - 15. 72%, decreased surface runoff by 6. 86% - 58. 42% and sediment runoff by 56. 09% - 100%. Among different types of strip intercropping of grain-grass, the strip of intercropping of grain-grass was more narrower, the effects of crop yield increase and soil erosion control was more better. Consolidated comparative results of different intercropping grain-grass patterns was that the three types of 4:4, 4:6 and 6:4 were the best intercropping pattern. Source


Hou X.,Northwest University, China | Jia Z.,Northwest University, China | Han Q.,Northwest University, China | Li R.,Northwest University, China | And 2 more authors.
Soil Research | Year: 2011

Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a major crop grown generally in semi-arid areas of north-west China, and water deficiency is the major factor that limits crop yields. Between 2007 and 2010, we conducted a field experiment on winter wheat to investigate the effects of interval with no-tillage and subsoiling (rotational tillage) after crop harvesting on soil water characteristics and crop yields in semi-arid areas of southern Ningxia. Three tillage treatments were tested: no-tillage in year 1, subsoiling in year 2, and no-tillage in year 3 (NT/ST/NT); subsoiling in year 1, no-tillage in year 2, and subsoiling in year 3 (ST/NT/ST); and conventional tillage over years 13 (CT). The three-year comparative experiment showed that during the summer fallow, compared with CT, the NT/ST/NT and ST/NT/ST treatments improved mean soil water content at 02.0m depth by 3.9% and 7.8%, respectively, and significantly (P<0.05) increased mean rainfall storage efficiency by 15.4% and 26.7%. During the wheat growing season, mean soil water content with the NT/ST/NT and ST/NT/ST treatments was significantly higher (P<0.05) than with the CT treatment (8.0% and 8.6% higher, respectively), and the two rotational tillage treatments significantly (P<0.05) increased mean rainfall use efficiency compared with CT (by 9.3% and 10.7%, respectively). Yield improvements coupled with greater water-use efficiency occurred with the NT/ST/NT and ST/NT/ST treatments, i.e. mean grain yields were significantly (P<0.05) increased by 9.6% and 10.7%, respectively, and water-use efficiency was significantly (P<0.05) improved by 6.7% and 7.8% compared with the CT treatment. The results showed that the interval of no-tillage and subsoiling could improve soil status, and significantly increase crop yields and water-use efficiency. This method could have important applications in the semi-arid areas of north-west China. © CSIRO 2011. Source

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