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Summer crops: relative water use efficiencies and legacy impacts in farming systems

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Bell, L., Anderson, B., Aisthorpe, D., Verrell, A., Baird, J., Erbacher, A., Gentry, J. and Lawrence, D. (2020) Summer crops: relative water use efficiencies and legacy impacts in farming systems. GRDC Update .


Article Link: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grd...


Take home message • While summer crops offer rotational options in the farming system, choose the correct crop to match your available soil water and crop history • Sorghum is a reliable performer often exceeding other options in terms of $ returned per mm used • Cotton and maize require higher water availability and produce less reliable WUE ($/mm). However, cotton has legacy impacts on water availability for subsequent crops that should be considered • Mungbean can produce higher $/mm in low water availability situations (<200 mm of rain + soil water). Repeated sowings of mungbeans are likely to induce yield reductions due to disease • Sorghum crops sown with > 150 mm of plant available water will maximise crop WUE and profitability. Every extra mm at sowing could be worth as much as $35-70 extra return/ha • Higher density sorghum crops may provide greater crop competition against weeds and potential upside yield benefits in good season. We have seen limited legacy benefits (e.g. improved ground cover) or costs (e.g. greater soil water/nutrient extraction) for soil water or nutrient availability.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:sorghum, maize, cotton, mungbean, water-use-efficiency, soil, yield, systems
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Farm economics. Farm management. Agricultural mathematics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Improvement, reclamation, fertilisation, irrigation etc., of lands (Melioration)
Plant culture > Field crops
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Live Archive:24 Sep 2020 02:01
Last Modified:21 Jul 2022 05:26

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