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Effects of a ‘one film for 2 years’ system on the grain yield, water use efficiency and cost-benefit balance in dryland spring maize (Zea mays L.) on the Loess Plateau, China

By Baoqing Chen, Changrong Yan, Sarah Garré, Xurong Mei and Liu Enke


‘One film for 2 years’ (PM2) has been proposed as a practice to control the residual film pollution; however, its effects on grain-yield, water-use-efficiency and cost-benefit balance in dryland spring maize production have still not been systematically explored. In this study, we compared the performance of PM2 with the annual film replacement treatment (PM1) and no mulch treatment (CK) on the Loess Plateau in 2015-2016. Our results indicated the following: (1) PM2 was effective at improving the topsoil moisture (0-20 cm) at sowing time and at seedling stage, but there was no significant influence on soil water storage, seasonal average soil moisture or evapotranspiration; (2) PM2 induced significantly higher cumulative soil temperatures compared to CK, and there was no significant difference between PM2 and PM1; (3) no significant differences were identified in grain-yield and water-use-efficiency between PM1 and PM2, and compared to CK, they improved by 16.3% and 15.5%, respectively; (4) because of lower cost of plastic film, tillage, film laying and remove in PM2, economic profits improved by 21% and 70% compared to PM1 and CK. This research suggested that PM2 was effective at alleviating the spring drought and was beneficial in reducing poverty traps in dryland.Peer reviewe

Topics: plastic mulching, soil water, maize yield, water-use efficiency, cost-benefit, Life sciences :: Agriculture & agronomy, Sciences du vivant :: Agriculture & agronomie
Year: 2017
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