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Liu B.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Liu B.,Key Laboratory of Agro Environment and Climate Change | Liu B.,Key Laboratory for Dryland Agriculture | Mei X.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | And 16 more authors.
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2012

Agricultural water resource security is faced with serious challenges in the background of climate change. It is important to study the trend of evapotranspiration (ET) for future planning and management of agricultural water resources. On the basis of the 1961-2004 weather data, the trends of six meteorological variables were analysed. Also, the potential ET (PET) of maize (Zea mays L.) in the growing season was simulated by the World Food Study (WOFOST) model. Results indicated that the maximum and minimum temperatures increased significantly, and the daily minimum temperature increased much faster than the daily maximum temperature, which resulted in the decrease in the diurnal temperature range (DTR). The precipitation showed an increasing trend, whereas the sunshine duration and wind speed (WS) showed a declining trend. No remarkable linear tendency was found on vapour pressure. As a result, the simulated maize PET showed a significant decrease by 1 mm year -1, and it was mainly as a result of decreased sunshine duration and WS. This may provide valuable information on the aspect of water resource management in the Yellow River basin. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Bai W.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Zhang H.,Key Laboratory of Agro Environment and Climate Change | Liu B.,Key Laboratory for Dryland Agriculture | Wu Y.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Soil Use and Management | Year: 2010

Super-absorbent polymers (SAPs), a group of new water-saving materials and soil conditioners, have been widely adopted in agriculture, but little is known about their effects on soil physical and chemical properties under alternating dry and wet conditions. This study assesses soil moisture, bulk density, pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and available P and K after different wetting and drying cycles. Four types of SAPs, labelled BF, JP, BJ and WT, with organic macromolecules were mixed with sandy soils to give concentrations of 0%, 0.05%, 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.3%, with the aim of determining water retention and soil properties after amendment with the SAPs. Soil moisture increased by 6.2-32.8% with SAP application, while soil bulk density was reduced by 5.5-9.4% relative to the control, especially with a moderate water deficit when the relative soil moisture contents were about 40-50%. The largest increase in soil moisture and the greatest reduction in bulk density resulted from the WT treatment. The effects of SAPs on soil pH and EC were contrary. Soil available P increased slightly while available K significantly decreased, except following the first wetting and drying cycle. Available K increased with drying, but the opposite effect was observed for available P. Particular SAPs (JP and WT) seem more suitable under alternating dry and wet conditions. The effects on soil-water retention and other soil properties varied according to the structure of the SAP and soil moisture. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Society of Soil Science.

Liu B.C.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Liu B.C.,Key Laboratory of Agro Environment and Climate Change | Liu B.C.,Key Laboratory for Dryland Agriculture | Li M.S.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | And 8 more authors.
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia | Year: 2010

As an innovative tool, weather index agricultural insurance (WIAI) was introduced into China in 2008. Before product designing and selling to farmers, it is necessary to understand farmers' real desire so that the product can be tailored to fit their needs. This paper focuses on the demand analysis for WIAI on household level. With this goal, 660 households located in 22 administrative villages in Changfeng and Huaiyuan county, Anhui province, China were surveyed. Survey questions covered risks faced by households, their coping mechanisms and willingness to pay for WIAI. Survey data were assessed and findings are shown as below: drought and flood were major weather risks for crops; the key coping strategies to crop loss were seeking employment elsewhere, or borrowing money from relatives or friends; most of investigated farmers showed interest in WIAI; those who were more familiar with insurance, or whose losses were higher due to deficient or excessive rainfall, or who had more trust in the accuracy of local weather forecasts, expressed more interest in WIAI with the quite low correlation coefficient, while statistically significant. It hints that there are potential demands for WIAI among farmers. However, methodologies deserve further development so as to provide more reliable assessment of the relationships between the willingness to pay and the abovementioned three factors. © 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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