Conservation Agriculture for Improving Water Productivity in Vertisols of Semi-Arid Tropics uri icon

abstract

  • Large variability and uncertainty of rainfall are themain limiting factors for crop growth in rainfed agriculture.Agriculture water management interventionsare considered as suitable adoption strategy to enhancecrop yield, productivity and income in rainfed condition.Three-year experimental data collected at theInternational Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, India are analysed to studythe impact of in-situ interventions (tillage and cropresidue) on field water balance and grain yield underthe two different cropping systems (maize + chickpeasequential and maize/pigeon pea intercropping). Onedimensional water balance model is calibrated to capturefield hydrology (soil water, surface runoff).Weather data calibrated for 36 years showed that incorporatingcrop residues reduced surface runoff by28% compared to control fields. However, the impactof tillage and residue treatment on soil water wasnot consistent throughout the growing period. Waterproductivity values for intercropping systems (WUE =0.61 to 1.49 kg m?3) were relatively higher comparedto sequential cropping systems (WUE = 0.47 to 1.06 kgm?3). Second crop in sequential cropping system oftensuffered from water stress that led to poor crop yield.However, a few rain events at the end of the monsoonperiod were beneficial to second crop. Simulation resultsindicated that the conservation agriculture couldsave up to 30% yield loss incurred due to water stressduring deficit rainfall compared to conventional agriculturalpractices

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016