Effect of precipitation change on water balance and WUE of the winter wheat-summer maize rotation in the North China Plain

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Journal Article
Agricultural Water Management, 2010, 97 (8), pp. 1139 - 1145
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Limited precipitation restricts crop yield in the North China Plain, where high level of production depends largely on irrigation. Establishing the optimal irrigation scheduling according to the crop water requirement (CWR) and precipitation is the key factor to achieve rational water use. Precipitation data collected for about 40 years were employed to analyze the long-term trend, and weather data from 1984 to 2005 were used to estimate the CWR and irrigation water requirements (IWR). Field experiments were performed at the Luancheng Station from 1997 to 2005 to calculate the soil water consumption and water use efficiency (WUE). The results showed the CWR for winter wheat and summer maize were similar and about 430 mm, while the IWR ranged from 247 to 370 mm and 0 to 336 mm at the 25% and 75% precipitation exceedance probabilities for winter wheat and summer maize, respectively. The irrigation applied varied in the different rainfall years and the optimal irrigation amount was about 186, 161 and 99 mm for winter wheat and 134, 88 and 0 mm for summer maize in the dry, normal and wet seasons, respectively. However, as precipitation reduces over time especially during the maize growing periods, development of water-saving management practices for sustainable agriculture into the future is imperative. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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