Soil water availability and water use of crops from contrasting cropping systems

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2016 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, ASABE 2016

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Axel Garcia Y. Garcia; Jeffrey S. Strock
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
Chemical Engineering; Agricultural and Biological Sciences
conference paper description
The intensification of cropping systems is a strategy to enhance the efficiency of resources use in crop production. The approach is particularly relevant to soil water conservation and crops water use in rainfed agriculture. The effect of cropping systems on soil available water and water use of crops grown in a humid and temperate climate was investigated. The study was conducted at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center located near Lamberton, MN during the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons. The treatments studied included an extended 4-yr crop rotation (oat/alfalfa-alfalfa-corn-soybean) using organic inputs (ORI) and high external inputs (HEI) and the traditional 2-yr corn-soybean rotation (HEI), with a prairie as the control treatment. Response variables included crops yield, soil moisture monitored at 10, 20, 40, 60, 100, and 200 cm using moisture-temperature sensors connected to a data logger for continuous measurement, and calculated and estimated crops water use. Our results suggest that the intensification of cropping systems has a positive effect on soil available water and crops water use.