Managing water scarcity in European and Chinese cropping systems

At North-West Agriculture and Forestry University (Yangling, Shaanxi province), Dr Qiang Liu and his team are continuing long-term experiments investigating crop responses to different fertiliser treatments on the relatively infertile soils of the loess plateau. Having recently had a paper published on the responses of maize and soybean crops when grown in rotation (Sustainability doi:10.3390/su12104125), the first 2 years of the SHui project have grown millet (Setaria italica) and broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum). Experiments comprise a fully factorial experimental design of urea (0, 120 and 240 kg N ha-1) and diammonium phosphate (0, 45 and 90 kg P ha-1)  treatments. This year’s crop of broomcorn millet is characterised by a short growing season and shallow root system, so the data will be useful to calibrate the AquaCrop model. Pictured is the crop with an automatic weather station to calculate evapotranspiration using the Penman-Monteith equation, as a prelude to understanding the water requirements of this crop.







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