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Runoff, soil loss, and nutrient transport from cropping systems on Red Ferrosols in tropical northern Australia.

Cogle, A.L. and Keating, M.A. and Langford, P.A. and Gunton, J. and Webb, I.S. (2011) Runoff, soil loss, and nutrient transport from cropping systems on Red Ferrosols in tropical northern Australia. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 49 (1). pp. 87-97.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SR10069

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au

Abstract

Runoff, soil loss, and nutrient loss were assessed on a Red Ferrosol in tropical Australia over 3 years. The experiment was conducted using bounded, 100-m(2) field plots cropped to peanuts, maize, or grass. A bare plot, without cover or crop, was also instigated as an extreme treatment. Results showed the importance of cover in reducing runoff, soil loss, and nutrient loss from these soils. Runoff ranged from 13% of incident rainfall for the conventional cultivation to 29% under bare conditions during the highest rainfall year, and was well correlated with event rainfall and rainfall energy. Soil loss ranged from 30 t/ha. year under bare conditions to <6 t/ha. year under cropping. Nutrient losses of 35 kg N and 35 kg P/ha. year under bare conditions and 17 kg N and 11 kg P/ha. year under cropping were measured. Soil carbon analyses showed a relationship with treatment runoff, suggesting that soil properties influenced the rainfall runoff response. The cropping systems model PERFECT was calibrated using runoff, soil loss, and soil water data. Runoff and soil loss showed good agreement with observed data in the calibration, and soil water and yield had reasonable agreement. Longterm runs using historical weather data showed the episodic nature of runoff and soil loss events in this region and emphasise the need to manage land using protective measures such as conservation cropping practices. Farmers involved in related, action-learning activities wished to incorporate conservation cropping findings into their systems but also needed clear production benefits to hasten practice change.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© CSIRO
Keywords:Erosion; nutrient loss; PERFECT; Red Ferrosols; runoff; simulation models; tropical agriculture; semiarid tropics; erosion; management; alfisols; fertility; model; solis.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General)
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soil conservation and protection
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science
Deposited On:23 May 2011 01:05
Last Modified:23 May 2011 01:05

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