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Title: Soil water content, maize yield and its stability as affected by tillage and crop residue management in rainfed semi-aridhighlands
Authors: Verhulst, Nele ×
Nelissen, Victoria
Jespers, Niels
Haven, Heleen
Sayre, Ken D.
Raes, Dirk
Deckers, Seppe
Govaerts, Bram #
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Series Title: Plant and Soil vol:344 pages:73-85
Abstract: Rainfed crop management systems need to
be optimized to provide more resilient options to cope
with projected climatic scenarios forecasting a decrease
in mean precipitation and more frequent
extreme drought periods in Mexico. Soil water
content (0–60 cm) was measured during three crop
cycles in maize plots with different agronomic
management practices in a long-term rainfed experiment
(established in 1991) in the highlands of
Mexico. Maize yields of 1997–2009 were reported.
Crop management practices varied in (1) tillage
(conventional [CT] vs. zero tillage [ZT]) and (2)
residue management (full or partial retention and
removal). ZT with residue retention had higher soil
water content than management practices involving
CT and ZT with residue removal which provided a
buffer for drought periods during the growing
seasons. In 2009, a cycle with a prolonged drought during vegetative growth, this resulted in yield
differences of up to 4.7 Mg ha−1 between ZT with
(partial) residue retention and the other practices.
Averaged over 1997–2009, these practices had a yield
advantage of approximately 1.5 Mg ha−1 over
practices involving CT and ZT with residue removal.
ZT with (partial) residue retention used rainfall more
efficiently and resulted in a more resilient agronomic
system than practices involving either CT or ZT with
residue removal.
ISSN: 0032-079X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division Soil and Water Management
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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