ResearchPad - agricultural-irrigation https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Optimizing planting geometry for barley-Egyptian clover intercropping system in semi-arid sub-tropical climate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14568 Intercropping legumes with cereals has been a common cropping system in short-season rainfed environments due to its increased productivity and sustainability. Intercropping barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) with Egyptian clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) could increase the grain yield of barley and improve resource use efficiency of the intercropping system. However, non-optimum planting geometry has been a hurdle in the adaptation of barley-based cropping systems. This study was aimed at optimizing the planting geometry, and assess the productivity and profitability of barley-Egyptian clover intercropping system. Ten different planting geometries, differing in number of rows of barley, width and number of irrigation furrows and planting method were tested. Intercropping barley with Egyptian clover improved 56–68% grain yield of barley compared with mono-cropped barley. Barley remained dominant crop in terms of aggressiveness, relative crowding coefficient and competitive ratio. The amount of water used was linearly increased with increasing size of barley strip from 3 to 8 rows. The highest water use efficiency (4.83 kg/cf3) was recorded for 8-row barley strip system with 120 cm irrigation furrows compared to rest of the planting geometries. In conclusion, 8-rows of barley planted on beds with Egyptian clover in 120 cm irrigation furrows had the highest net income and cost benefit ratio. Therefore, it is recommended that this planting geometry can be used for better economic returns of barley-Egyptian clover intercropping system. However, barley strips with >8 rows were not included in this study, which is limitation of the current study. Therefore, future studies with >8 barley rows in strip should be conducted to infer the economic feasibility and profitability of wider barley strips.

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<![CDATA[Combining biophysical parameters, spectral indices and multivariate hyperspectral models for estimating yield and water productivity of spring wheat across different agronomic practices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897762d5eed0c4847d2b85

Manipulating plant densities under different irrigation rates can have a significant impact on grain yield and water use efficiency by exerting positive or negative effects on ET. Whereas traditional spectral reflectance indices (SRIs) have been used to assess biophysical parameters and yield, the potential of multivariate models has little been investigated to estimate these parameters under multiple agronomic practices. Therefore, both simple indices and multivariate models (partial least square regression (PLSR) and support vector machines (SVR)) obtained from hyperspectral reflectance data were compared for their applicability for assessing the biophysical parameters in a field experiment involving different combinations of three irrigation rates (1.00, 0.75, and 0.50 ET) and five plant densities (D1: 150, D2: 250, D3: 350, D4: 450, and D5: 550 seeds m-2) in order to improve productivity and water use efficiency of wheat. Results show that the highest values for green leaf area, aboveground biomass, and grain yield were obtained from the combination of D3 or D4 with 1.00 ET, while the combination of 0.75 ET and D3 was the best treatment for achieving the highest values for water use efficiency. Wheat yield response factor (ky) was acceptable when the 0.75 ET was combined with D2, D3, or D4 or when the 0.50 ET was combined with D2 or D3, as the ky values of these combinations were less than or around one. The production function indicated that about 75% grain yield variation could be attributed to the variation in seasonal ET. Results also show that the performance of the SRIs fluctuated when regressions were analyzed for each irrigation rate or plant density specifically, or when the data of all irrigation rates or plant densities were combined. Most of the SRIs failed to assess biophysical parameters under specific irrigation rates and some specific plant densities, but performance improved substantially for combined data of irrigation rates and some specific plant densities. PLSR and SVR produced more accurate estimations of biophysical parameters than SRIs under specific irrigation rates and plant densities. In conclusion, hyperspectral data are useful for predicting and monitoring yield and water productivity of spring wheat across multiple agronomic practices.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the performance of different irrigation systems on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in the greenhouse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e91cd5eed0c48496f815

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is a very important leafy vegetable in China and is commonly grown using furrow irrigation. In order to improve production efficiency, greenhouse experiments were conducted at Experimental Station, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China using furrow irrigation (FI), micro-sprinkler irrigation (MS), plastic film mulching irrigation (PF) and a combined plastic film mulching–micro-sprinkler irrigation system (PF+MS) to study their effects on soil physical characteristics, water distribution, root morpho-physiological traits, nutrition absorption, lettuce yield and water use efficiency for a spring crop and autumn crop in 2015 (Fig 1). Root length, root surface area, and root density were significantly higher under PF and PF+MS than under FI. Moreover, these traits were higher under MS than under FI but these differences were not significant. The soluble protein, soluble sugar, and Vitamin C content of lettuce decreased in the order PF+MS > PF > MS > FI in both crops. In the spring crop, the biological yield of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 7.22%、36.77%、43.20% higher than FI, respectively. In the spring crop, biological water use efficiency (BWUE) of FI, MS, PF and PF+MS was 20.93, 25.24, 36.81 and 38.54 kg m−3, respectively. The BWUE of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 20.59%, 75.87% and 84.14% higher than FI. Economic water use efficiency (EWUE) of FI, MS, PF and PF+MS was 17.06, 21.31, 31.11 and 32.31 kg m−3, respectively. The EWUE of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 24.91%, 82.36% and 89.39% higher than FI, respectively. The autumn crop achieved a higher WUE than the spring crop. The results suggested that the combined plastic film mulching-micro-sprinkler irrigation was the most suitable irrigation approach for increasing lettuce yield.

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<![CDATA[High-resolution imagery acquired from an unmanned platform to estimate biophysical and geometrical parameters of olive trees under different irrigation regimes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c493d5eed0c4845e895b

The experiments were conducted in a fully-productive olive orchard (cv. Frantoio) at the experimental farm of University of Pisa at Venturina (Italy) in 2015 to assess the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with RGB-NIR cameras to estimate leaf area index (LAI), tree height, canopy diameter and canopy volume of olive trees that were either irrigated or rainfed. Irrigated trees received water 4–5 days a week (1348 m3 ha-1), whereas the rainfed ones received a single irrigation of 19 m3 ha-1 to relieve the extreme stress. The flight altitude was 70 m above ground level (AGL), except for one flight (50 m AGL). The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated by means of the map algebra technique. Canopy volume, canopy height and diameter were obtained from the digital surface model (DSM) obtained through automatic aerial triangulation, bundle block adjustment and camera calibration methods. The NDVI estimated on the day of the year (DOY) 130 was linearly correlated with both LAI and leaf chlorophyll measured on the same date (R2 = 0.78 and 0.80, respectively). The correlation between the on ground measured canopy volumes and the ones by the UAV-RGB camera techniques yielded an R2 of 0.71–0.86. The monthly canopy volume increment estimated from UAV surveys between (DOY) 130 and 244 was highly correlated with the daily water stress integral of rainfed trees (R2 = 0.99). The effect of water stress on the seasonal pattern of canopy growth was detected by these techniques in correspondence of the maximum level of stress experienced by the rainfed trees. The highest level of accuracy (RMSE = 0.16 m) in canopy height estimation was obtained when the flight altitude was 50 m AGL, yielding an R2 value of 0.87 and an almost 1:1 ratio of measured versus estimated canopy height.

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<![CDATA[Attachment strength and on-farm die-off rate of Escherichia coli on watermelon surfaces]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f8fd5eed0c484d76beb

Pre-harvest contamination of produce has been a major food safety focus. Insight into the behavior of enteric pathogens on produce in pre-harvest conditions will aid in developing pre-harvest and post-harvest risk management strategies. In this study, the attachment strength (SR) and die-off rate of E. coli on the surface of watermelon fruits and the efficacy of aqueous chlorine treatment against strongly attached E. coli population were investigated. Watermelon seedlings were transplanted into eighteen plots. Prior to harvesting, a cocktail of generic E. coli (ATCC 23716, 25922 and 11775) was inoculated on the surface of the watermelon fruits (n = 162) and the attachment strength (SR) values and the daily die-off rates were examined up to 6 days by attachment assay. After 120 h, watermelon samples were treated with aqueous chlorine (150 ppm free chlorine for 3 min). The SR value of the E. coli cells on watermelon surfaces significantly increased (P<0.05) from 0.04 to 0.99 in the first 24 h, which was primarily due to the decrease in loosely attached population, given that the population of strongly attached cells was constant. Thereafter, there was no significant change in SR values, up to 120 h. The daily die-off rate of E. coli ranged from -0.12 to 1.3 log CFU/cm2. The chlorine treatment reduced the E. coli level by 4.2 log CFU/cm2 (initial level 5.6 log CFU/cm2) and 0.62 log CFU/cm2 (initial level 1.8 log CFU/cm2), on the watermelons that had an attachment time of 30 min and 120 h respectively. Overall, our findings revealed that the population of E. coli on watermelon surfaces declined over time in an agricultural environment. Microbial contamination during pre-harvest stages may promote the formation of strongly attached cells on the produce surfaces, which could influence the efficacy of post-harvest washing and sanitation techniques.

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<![CDATA[Effective chemical protection against the maize late wilt causal agent, Harpophora maydis, in the field]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22a0bed5eed0c4849ebffa

Late wilt, a disease severely affecting maize fields throughout Israel, is characterized by relatively rapid wilting of maize plants before tasseling and until shortly before maturity. The disease’s causal agent is the fungus Harpophora maydis, a soil-borne and seed-borne pathogen, which is currently controlled using reduced sensitivity maize cultivars. In a former study, we showed that Azoxystrobin (AS) injected into a drip irrigation line assigned for each row can suppress H. maydis in the field and that AS seed coating can provide an additional layer of protection. In the present study, we examine a more cost-effective protective treatment using this fungicide with Difenoconazole mixture (AS+DC), or Fluazinam, or Fluopyram and Trifloxystrobin mixture, or Prothioconazole and Tebuconazole mixture in combined treatment of seed coating and a drip irrigation line for two coupling rows. A recently developed Real-Time PCR method revealed that protecting the plants using AS+DC seed coating alone managed to delay pathogen DNA spread in the maize tissues, in the early stages of the growth season (up to the age of 50 days from sowing), but was less effective in protecting the crops later. AS+DC seed coating combined with drip irrigation using AS+DC was the most successful treatment, and in the double-row cultivation, it reduced fungal DNA in the host tissues to near zero levels. This treatment minimized the development of wilt symptoms by 41% and recovered cob yield by a factor of 1.6 (to the level common in healthy fields). Moreover, the yield classified as A class (cob weight of more than 250 g) increased from 58% to 75% in this treatment. This successful treatment against H. maydis in Israel can now be applied in vast areas to protect sensitive maize cultivars against maize late wilt disease.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Evidence of Contemporary Dispersal of the Intermediate Snail Host of Schistosoma japonicum: Movement of an NTD Host Is Facilitated by Land Use and Landscape Connectivity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae4ab0ee8fa60bbcd15

Background

While the dispersal of hosts and vectors—through active or passive movement—is known to facilitate the spread and re-emergence of certain infectious diseases, little is known about the movement ecology of Oncomelania spp., intermediate snail host of the parasite Schistosoma japonicum, and its consequences for the spread of schistosomiasis in East and Southeast Asia. In China, despite intense control programs aimed at preventing schistosomiasis transmission, there is evidence in recent years of re-emergence and persistence of infection in some areas, as well as an increase in the spatial extent of the snail host. A quantitative understanding of the dispersal characteristics of the intermediate host can provide new insights into the spatial dynamics of transmission, and can assist public health officials in limiting the geographic spread of infection.

Methodology/Principal findings

Oncomelania hupensis robertsoni snails (n = 833) were sampled from 29 sites in Sichuan, China, genotyped, and analyzed using Bayesian assignment to estimate the rate of recent snail migration across sites. Landscape connectivity between each site pair was estimated using the geographic distance distributions derived from nine environmental models: Euclidean, topography, incline, wetness, land use, watershed, stream use, streams and channels, and stream velocity. Among sites, 14.4% to 32.8% of sampled snails were identified as recent migrants, with 20 sites comprising >20% migrants. Migration rates were generally low between sites, but at 8 sites, over 10% of the overall host population originated from one proximal site. Greater landscape connectivity was significantly associated with increased odds of migration, with the minimum path distance (as opposed to median or first quartile) emerging as the strongest predictor across all environmental models. Models accounting for land use explained the largest proportion of the variance in migration rates between sites. A greater number of irrigation channels leading into a site was associated with an increase in the site’s propensity to both attract and retain snails.

Conclusions/Significance

Our findings have important implications for controlling the geographic spread of schistosomiasis in China, through improved understanding of the dispersal capacity of the parasite’s intermediate host.

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<![CDATA[Spatial Variability of Grapevine Bud Burst Percentage and Its Association with Soil Properties at Field Scale]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fbab0ee8fa60b72158

There is a growing interest in precision viticulture with the development of global positioning system and geographical information system technologies. Limited information is available on spatial variation of bud behavior and its possible association with soil properties. The objective of this study was to investigate spatial variability of bud burst percentage and its association with soil properties based on 2-year experiments at a vineyard of arid northwest China. Geostatistical approach was used to describe the spatial variation in bud burst percentage within the vineyard. Partial least square regressions (PLSRs) of bud burst percentage with soil properties were used to evaluate the contribution of soil properties to overall spatial variability in bud burst percentage for the high, medium and low bud burst percentage groups. Within the vineyard, the coefficient of variation (CV) of bud burst percentage was 20% and 15% for 2012 and 2013 respectively. Bud burst percentage within the vineyard showed moderate spatial variability, and the overall spatial pattern of bud burst percentage was similar between the two years. Soil properties alone explained 31% and 37% of the total spatial variation respectively for the low group of 2012 and 2013, and 16% and 24% for the high group of 2012 and 2013 respectively. For the low group, the fraction of variations explained by soil properties was found similar between the two years, while there was substantial difference for the high group. The findings are expected to lay a good foundation for developing remedy measures in the areas with low bud burst percentage, thus in turn improving the overall grape yield and quality.

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<![CDATA[Diversity and community structure of cyanobacteria and other microbes in recycling irrigation reservoirs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbfb8

Recycling irrigation reservoirs (RIRs) are emerging aquatic environments of global significance to crop production, water conservation and environmental sustainability. This study characterized the diversity and population structure of cyanobacteria and other detected microbes in water samples from eight RIRs and one adjacent runoff-free stream at three ornamental crop nurseries in eastern (VA1 and VA3) and central (VA2) Virginia after cloning and sequencing the 16S rRNA gene targeting cyanobacteria and chloroplast of eukaryotic phytoplankton. VA1 and VA2 utilize a multi-reservoir recycling irrigation system with runoff channeled to a sedimentation reservoir which then overflows into transition and retention reservoirs where water was pumped for irrigation. VA3 has a single sedimentation reservoir which was also used for irrigation. A total of 208 operational taxonomic units (OTU) were identified from clone libraries of the water samples. Among them, 53 OTUs (358 clones) were cyanobacteria comprising at least 12 genera dominated by Synechococcus species; 59 OTUs (387 clones) were eukaryotic phytoplankton including green algae and diatoms; and 96 were other bacteria (111 clones). Overall, cyanobacteria were dominant in sedimentation reservoirs, while eukaryotic phytoplankton and other bacteria were dominant in transition/retention reservoirs and the stream, respectively. These results are direct evidence demonstrating the negative impact of nutrient-rich horticultural runoff, if not contained, on natural water resources. They also help in understanding the dynamics of water quality in RIRs and have practical implications. Although both single- and multi-reservoir recycling irrigation systems reduce the environmental footprint of horticultural production, the former is expected to have more cyanobacterial blooming, and consequently water quality issues, than the latter. Thus, a multi-reservoir recycling irrigation system should be preferred where feasible.

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<![CDATA[Projections of Water Stress Based on an Ensemble of Socioeconomic Growth and Climate Change Scenarios: A Case Study in Asia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da72ab0ee8fa60b95585

The sustainability of future water resources is of paramount importance and is affected by many factors, including population, wealth and climate. Inherent in current methods to estimate these factors in the future is the uncertainty of their prediction. In this study, we integrate a large ensemble of scenarios—internally consistent across economics, emissions, climate, and population—to develop a risk portfolio of water stress over a large portion of Asia that includes China, India, and Mainland Southeast Asia in a future with unconstrained emissions. We isolate the effects of socioeconomic growth from the effects of climate change in order to identify the primary drivers of stress on water resources. We find that water needs related to socioeconomic changes, which are currently small, are likely to increase considerably in the future, often overshadowing the effect of climate change on levels of water stress. As a result, there is a high risk of severe water stress in densely populated watersheds by 2050, compared to recent history. There is strong evidence to suggest that, in the absence of autonomous adaptation or societal response, a much larger portion of the region’s population will live in water-stressed regions in the near future. Tools and studies such as these can effectively investigate large-scale system sensitivities and can be useful in engaging and informing decision makers.

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<![CDATA[Nitrapyrin addition mitigates nitrous oxide emissions and raises nitrogen use efficiency in plastic-film-mulched drip-fertigated cotton field]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf622

Nitrification inhibitors (NIs) have been used extensively to reduce nitrogen losses and increase crop nitrogen nutrition. However, information is still scant regarding the influence of NIs on nitrogen transformation, nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and nitrogen utilization in plastic-film-mulched calcareous soil under high frequency drip-fertigated condition. Therefore, a field trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of nitrapyrin (2-chloro-6-(trichloromethyl)-pyridine) on soil mineral nitrogen (N) transformation, N2O emission and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in a drip-fertigated cotton-growing calcareous field. Three treatments were established: control (no N fertilizer), urea (225 kg N ha-1) and urea+nitrapyrin (225 kg N ha-1+2.25 kg nitrapyrin ha-1). Compared with urea alone, urea plus nitrapyrin decreased the average N2O emission fluxes by 6.6–21.8% in June, July and August significantly in a drip-fertigation cycle. Urea application increased the seasonal cumulative N2O emission by 2.4 kg N ha-1 compared with control, and nitrapyrin addition significantly mitigated the seasonal N2O emission by 14.3% compared with urea only. During the main growing season, the average soil ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N) concentration was 28.0% greater and soil nitrate nitrogen (NO3--N) concentration was 13.8% less in the urea+nitrapyrin treatment than in the urea treatment. Soil NO3--N and water-filled pore space (WFPS) were more closely correlated than soil NH4+-N with soil N2O fluxes under drip-fertigated condition (P<0.001). Compared with urea alone, urea plus nitrapyrin reduced the seasonal N2O emission factor (EF) by 32.4% while increasing nitrogen use efficiency by 10.7%. The results demonstrated that nitrapyrin addition significantly inhibited soil nitrification and maintained more NH4+-N in soil, mitigated N2O losses and improved nitrogen use efficiency in plastic-film-mulched calcareous soil under high frequency drip-fertigated condition.

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<![CDATA[Highly Arid Oasis Yield, Soil Mineral N Accumulation and N Balance in a Wheat-Cotton Rotation with Drip Irrigation and Mulching Film Management]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabbab0ee8fa60bae982

Few systematic studies have been carried out on integrated N balance in extremely arid oasis agricultural areas. A two-year field experiment was conducted to evaluate the N input and output balances under long-term fertilization conditions. Five treatments were chosen, namely CK (no fertilizer), NPK, NPKS (10% straw return N and 90% chemical N), NPKM (one third urea-N, two thirds sheep manure) and NPKM+ (1.5 times NPKM). The results show an abundance of dry and wet N deposition (33 kg N ha-1 yr-1) in this area. All treatments (excluding CK) showed no significant difference in wheat production (P>0.05). NPKM gave higher cotton yields (P<0.05). In both crops, NPKM and NPKS treatments had a relatively higher N harvest index (NHI). 15N-labeled results reveal that the fertilizer N in all N treatments leached to<1 m depth and a high proportion of fertilizer-N remained in the top 60 cm of the soil profile. The NPKM+ treatment had the highest residual soil mineral N (Nmin, 558 kg Nd ha-1), and NPKM and NPKS treatments had relatively low soil Nmin values (275 and 293 kg N ha-1, respectively). Most of the treatments exhibited very high apparent N losses, especially the NPKM+ treatment (369kg N ha-1). Our arid research area had a strikingly high N loss compared to less arid agricultural areas. Nitrogen inputs therefore need careful reconsideration, especially the initial soil Nmin, fertilizer N inputs, dry and wet deposition, and appropriate organic and straw inputs which are all factors that must be taken into account under very arid conditions.

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<![CDATA[Integrative Inferences on Pattern Geometries of Grapes Grown under Water Stress and Their Resulting Wines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4eab0ee8fa60bdb2d6

Multiple datasets of two consecutive vintages of replicated grape and wines from six different deficit irrigation regimes are characterized and compared. The process consists of four temporal-ordered signature phases: harvest field data, juice composition, wine composition before bottling and bottled wine. A new computing paradigm and an integrative inferential platform are developed for discovering phase-to-phase pattern geometries for such characterization and comparison purposes. Each phase is manifested by a distinct set of features, which are measurable upon phase-specific entities subject to the common set of irrigation regimes. Throughout the four phases, this compilation of data from irrigation regimes with subsamples is termed a space of media-nodes, on which measurements of phase-specific features were recoded. All of these collectively constitute a bipartite network of data, which is then normalized and binary coded. For these serial bipartite networks, we first quantify patterns that characterize individual phases by means of a new computing paradigm called “Data Mechanics”. This computational technique extracts a coupling geometry which captures and reveals interacting dependence among and between media-nodes and feature-nodes in forms of hierarchical block sub-matrices. As one of the principal discoveries, the holistic year-factor persistently surfaces as the most inferential factor in classifying all media-nodes throughout all phases. This could be deemed either surprising in its over-arching dominance or obvious based on popular belief. We formulate and test pattern-based hypotheses that confirm such fundamental patterns. We also attempt to elucidate the driving force underlying the phase-evolution in winemaking via a newly developed partial coupling geometry, which is designed to integrate two coupling geometries. Such partial coupling geometries are confirmed to bear causal and predictive implications. All pattern inferences are performed with respect to a profile of energy distributions sampled from network bootstrapping ensembles conforming to block-structures specified by corresponding hypotheses.

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<![CDATA[Surface Drainage and Mulching Drip-Irrigated Tomatoes Reduces Soil Salinity and Improves Fruit Yield]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db11ab0ee8fa60bcc218

A study on the effects of mulched drip irrigation combined with surface drainage on saline soil and tomatoes was conducted in coastal areas of eastern China, where the crops are subjected to excessive salt. The treatments contained three irrigation rates—200, 250 and 300 m3/ha—and three drain ditch depths—10, 20 and 30 cm. The contents of soil salinity, organic matter and available nutrient were observed, and the tomato plant height, stem diameter and leaf area index during different growth periods were recorded. Results showed that the total removal rate of salt from soil at a 0–1 m depth was 8.7–13.2% for the three drainages. Compared with the control, the treatments increased the content of available N (by 12.1–47.1%) and available K (by 5.0–21.9%) in the soils inside the mulch and decreased the content of available N (by 3.4–22.1%) and available K (by 7.5–16.4%) in the soils outside the mulch. For tomatoes, the plant height and the stem diameter was increased significantly by the irrigations but was not significantly affected by the drainages, and the leaf area index was increased by 0.39~1.76, 1.10~2.90 and 2.80~6.86 respectively in corresponding to the seedling, flowering and fruit-set stage. Moreover, yield-increase rates of 7.9–27.6% were found for the treatments compared to the control with a similar amount of applied water.

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<![CDATA[Quantitatively Verifying the Results' Rationality for Farmland Quality Evaluation with Crop Yield, a Case Study in the Northwest Henan Province, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac4ab0ee8fa60bb1b64

Evaluating the assessing results’ rationality for farmland quality (FQ) is usually qualitative and based on farmers and experts’ perceptions of soil quality and crop yield. Its quantitative checking still remains difficult and is likely ignored. In this paper, FQ in Xiuwu County, the Northwest Henan Province, China was evaluated by the gray relational analysis (GRA) method and the traditional analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method. The consistency rate of two results was analysed. Research focused on proposing one method of testing the evaluation results’ rationality for FQ based on the crop yield. Firstly generating a grade map of crop yield and overlying it with the FQ evaluation maps. Then analysing their consistency rate for each grade in the same spatial position. Finally examining the consistency effects and allowing for a decision on adopting the results. The results showed that the area rate consistency and matching evaluation unit numbers between the two methods were 84.68% and 87.29%, respectively, and the space distribution was approximately equal. The area consistency rates between crop yield level and FQ evaluation levels by GRA and AHP were 78.15% and 74.29%, respectively. Therefore, the verifying effects of GRA and AHP were near, good and acceptable, and the FQ results from both could reflect the crop yield levels. The evaluation results by GCA, as a whole, were slightly more rational than that by AHP.

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<![CDATA[Influence of irrigation during the growth stage on yield and quality in mango (Mangifera indica L)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc561

Although being one of the few drought-tolerant plants, mango trees are irrigated to ensure optimum and consistent productivity in China. In order to better understand the effects of soil water content on mango yield and fruit quality at fruit growth stage, irrigation experiments were investigated and the object was to determine the soil water content criteria at which growth and quality of mango would be optimal based on soil water measured by RHD-JS water-saving irrigation system through micro-sprinkling irrigation. Five soil water content treatments (relative to the percentage of field water capacity) for irrigation (T1:79%-82%, T2:75%-78%, T3:71%-74%, T4: 65%-70%, T5:63%-66%) were compared in 2013. Amount of applied irrigation water for different treatments varied from 2.93m3 to 1.08 m3. The results showed that mango fruit production and quality at fruit growth stage were significantly affected under different irrigation water amounts. Variation in soil water content not only had effects on fruit size, but also on fruit yield. The highest fruit yield and irrigation water use efficiency were obtained from the T4 treatment. Irrigation water amount also affected fruit quality parameters like fruit total soluble solids, soluble sugar, starch, titratable acid and vitamin C content. Comprehensive evaluation of the effect of indexs of correlation on irrigation treatment by subordinate function showed that when the soil moisture content were controlled at about 65–70% of the field water moisture capacity, water demand in the growth and development of mango could be ensured, and maximum production efficiency of irrigation and the best quality of fruit could be achieved. In conclusion, treatment T4 was the optimum irrigation schedule for growing mango, thus achieving efficient production of mango in consideration of the compromise among mango yield, fruit quality and water use efficiency.

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<![CDATA[Responses of Winter Wheat Yield and Water Use Efficiency to Irrigation Frequency and Planting Pattern]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da27ab0ee8fa60b8119c

A suitable planting pattern and irrigation strategy are essential for optimizing winter wheat yield and water use efficiency (WUE). The study aimed to evaluate the impact of planting pattern and irrigation frequency on grain yield and WUE of winter wheat. During the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 winter wheat growing seasons in the North China Plain, the effects of planting patterns and irrigation frequencies were determined on tiller number, grain yield, and WUE. The two planting patterns tested were wide-precision and conventional-cultivation. Each planting pattern had three irrigation regimes: irrigation (120 mm) at the jointing stage; irrigation (60 mm) at both the jointing and heading stages; and irrigation (40 mm) at the jointing, heading, and milking stages. In our study, tiller number was significantly higher in the wide-precision planting pattern than in the conventional-cultivation planting pattern. Additionally, the highest grain yields and WUE were observed when irrigation was applied at the jointing stage (120 mm) or at the jointing and heading stages (60 mm each) in the wide-precision planting pattern. These results could be attributed to higher tiller numbers as well as reduced water consumption due to reduced irrigation frequency. In both growing seasons, applying 60 mm of water at jointing and heading stages resulted in the highest grain yield among the treatments. Based on our results, for winter wheat production in semi-humid regions, we recommend a wide-precision planting pattern with irrigation (60 mm) at both the jointing and heading stages.

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<![CDATA[Is the Taklimakan Desert Highway Shelterbelt Sustainable to Long-Term Drip Irrigation with High Saline Groundwater?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1eab0ee8fa60b7e052

Freshwater resources are scarce in desert regions. Highly saline groundwater of different salinity is being used to drip irrigate the Taklimakan Desert Highway Shelterbelt with a double-branch-pipe system controlling the irrigation cycles. In this study, to evaluate the dynamics of soil moisture and salinity under the current irrigation system, soil samples were collected to a 2-m depth in the shelterbelt planted for different years and irrigated with different groundwater salinities, and soil moisture and salinity were analyzed. The results showed that both depletion of soil moisture and increase of topsoil salinity occurred simultaneously during one irrigation cycle. Soil moisture decreased from 27.4% to 2.4% for a 15-day irrigation cycle and from 26.4% to 2.7% for a 10-day-cycle, respectively. Topsoil electrical conductivity (EC) increased from 0.64 to 3.32 dS/m and 0.70 to 3.99 dS/m for these two irrigation cycles. With increased shelterbelt age, profiled average soil moisture (0–200 cm) reduced from 12.8% (1-year) to 7.1% (10-year); however, soil moisture in 0–20-cm increased, while topsoil salinity decreased. In addition, irrigation salinity mainly affected soil salinity in the 0–20-cm range. We conclude that water supply with the double-branch-pipe is a feasible irrigation method for the Taklimakan Desert Highway Shelterbelt, and our findings provide a model for shelterbelt construction and sustainable management when using highly saline water for irrigation in analogous habitats.

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<![CDATA[Impacts of human-related practices on Ommatissus lybicus infestations of date palm in Oman]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb888

Date palm cultivation is economically important in the Sultanate of Oman, with significant financial investments coming from both the government and private individuals. However, a widespread Dubas bug (DB) (Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin) infestation has impacted regions including the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Russia, and Spain, resulting in widespread damages to date palms. In this study, techniques in spatial statistics including ordinary least squares (OLS), geographically weighted regression (GRW), and exploratory regression (ER) were applied to (a) model the correlation between DB infestations and human-related practices that include irrigation methods, row spacing, palm tree density, and management of undercover and intercropped vegetation, and (b) predict the locations of future DB infestations in northern Oman. Firstly, we extracted row spacing and palm tree density information from remote sensed satellite images. Secondly, we collected data on irrigation practices and management by using a simple questionnaire, augmented with spatial data. Thirdly, we conducted our statistical analyses using all possible combinations of values over a given set of candidate variables using the chosen predictive modelling and regression techniques. Lastly, we identified the combination of human-related practices that are most conducive to the survival and spread of DB. Our results show that there was a strong correlation between DB infestations and several human-related practices parameters (R2 = 0.70). Variables including palm tree density, spacing between trees (less than 5 x 5 m), insecticide application, date palm and farm service (pruning, dethroning, remove weeds, and thinning), irrigation systems, offshoots removal, fertilisation and labour (non-educated) issues, were all found to significantly influence the degree of DB infestations. This study is expected to help reduce the extent and cost of aerial and ground sprayings, while facilitating the allocation of date palm plantations. An integrated pest management (IPM) system monitoring DB infestations, driven by GIS and remote sensed data collections and spatial statistical models, will allow for an effective DB management program in Oman. This will in turn ensure the competitiveness of Oman in the global date fruits market and help preserve national yields.

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<![CDATA[Field-Based Estimates of Global Warming Potential in Bioenergy Systems of Hawaii: Crop Choice and Deficit Irrigation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db46ab0ee8fa60bd88b0

Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable from a climate change perspective only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C) stock are critical to the system-level balance. Here, we compared GHG flux, crop yield, root biomass, and soil C stock under two potential tropical, perennial grass biofuel feedstocks: conventional sugarcane and ratoon-harvested, zero-tillage napiergrass. Evaluations were conducted at two irrigation levels, 100% of plantation application and at a 50% deficit. Peaks and troughs of GHG emission followed agronomic events such as ratoon harvest of napiergrass and fertilization. Yet, net GHG flux was dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2), as methane was oxidized and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission was very low even following fertilization. High N2O fluxes that frequently negate other greenhouse gas benefits that come from replacing fossil fuels with agronomic forms of bioenergy were mitigated by efficient water and fertilizer management, including direct injection of fertilizer into buried irrigation lines. From soil intensively cultivated for a century in sugarcane, soil C stock and root biomass increased rapidly following cultivation in grasses selected for robust root systems and drought tolerance. The net soil C increase over the two-year crop cycle was three-fold greater than the annualized soil surface CO2 flux. Deficit irrigation reduced yield, but increased soil C accumulation as proportionately more photosynthetic resources were allocated belowground. In the first two years of cultivation napiergrass did not increase net greenhouse warming potential (GWP) compared to sugarcane, and has the advantage of multiple ratoon harvests per year and less negative effects of deficit irrigation to yield.

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