Original Articles

Evapotranspiration, Yield and Crop Coefficient of Irrigated Maize under Straw Mulch Conditions

  • Shijiazhuang Institute of Advanced Agriculture, CAS, Shijiazhuang050021 China

Received date: 2002-08-01

  Revised date: 2002-09-01

  Online published: 2002-11-24


Agricultural water use takes up about 70% of the total water consumption in the North China Plain. Thus improvement of the water use efficiency (WUE) in agriculture would play an important role in sustainable water use in the North China Plain. Agronomic water saving measure is one of the most important aspects in water saving agriculture. Reducing soil water evaporation and optimizing irrigation scheduling are effective methods in improving the farmland WUE. Maize is one of the staple crops in the piedmont of Mt. Taihang in the North China Plain and is usually inter planted into winter wheat field about one week before wheat crop is harvested. At harvest, the wheat straw is left to mulch maize crop so as to reduce evapotranspiration, especially during the earlier growth stages. Maize grows during the rainy months of June to September, and the rainfall usually meets its requirement for growth. In dry years or with inter seasonal variability of rainfall distribution, however, irrigation is essential to maintain good maize yield in the region. Due to the fact of a severe shortage of irrigation water in the region, this study aims to examine the effects of numbers of irrigation on maize grain yield, water use efficiency (WUE) and crop coefficient under straw mulch conditions. The results of field trials in the years of 1999 and 2001 showed that total evapotranspiration and WUE of irrigated maize under straw mulch were 390 mm and 22 kg/m 3, respectively, with grain yield of about 8000 kg/ha. Maize yield increased with the irrigation numbers and reached the highest 8834 kg/ha and 8010 kg/ha in 1999 and 2001, respectively, when the irrigation was applied four times over the growing season. Irrigation more than four times, however, caused grain yield reduction in both seasons. In contrast, WUE was only slightly decreased with the increase in the numbers of irrigation. Mulching reduced total soil evaporation by 50 mm in the 2001 season measured by micro lysimeters. At the early growing stage, crop coefficient of maize with mulching was about 05, which was about 50% lower than that without mulching. The coefficient over the growing season with mulch varied between 03~15 with an average of 10.

Cite this article

ZHANG Xi ying, CHEN Su ying, PEI Dong, LIU Meng yu . Evapotranspiration, Yield and Crop Coefficient of Irrigated Maize under Straw Mulch Conditions[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2002 , 21(6) : 583 -592 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2002.06.008


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