Capture and use of water by wheat and chickpea in sole crops and intercrops under dryland conditions of South Australia

International Crop Science Society
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
4th International Crop Science Congress, 2004, pp. 1 - 6
Issue Date:
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In dryland regions such as the cereal zone of South Australia, the most limiting biophysic resource is water. Field experiments were conducted to quanity the use of soil-water and production of biomass in sole crops and crop mixtures in a study designed to evaluate efficiency of intercropping in the use of this natural resource. Water-use and water use efficiency (ration of biomass to water use) for sole wheat were greater than for sole chickpea but were similar for sole wheat and mixture. The aland equivalent ration showed no advantage or disadvantage of intercropping over sole crops. However, the water in the soil with the mixture ws greater than the sole wheat. The presence of legumes in the mixture probably increased the N pool of the soil and might enhance the growth of the current and subsequent crops in an environment where trhe soil is poor in nutrient content.
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