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A root zone model for estimating soil water balance and crop yield responses to deficit irrigation in the North China Plain

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  • Ma, Ying
  • Feng, Shaoyuan
  • Song, Xianfang

Abstract

The development of water-conserving and sustainable agricultural management practices is essential and significant to alleviate the rapid depletion of groundwater resources in the North China Plain (NCP). Estimating drainage out of the root zone and improving water use efficiency could provide a basis to assist in reasonable utilization of groundwater resources for agricultural irrigation in the NCP. This study proposed a new soil water balance model to quantify drainage out of the root zone by incorporating the Darcy's law. This model was connected with the Jensen crop water production function to simulate soil water components and relative crop yield under deficit irrigation. Field experiments with the winter wheat and summer maize crop rotation were conducted in Beijing area in the NCP (2007–2009) to evaluate the model. The model could give quite reasonable predictions of soil water content in the root zone with the average root mean square error (RMSE), mean relative error (RE) and model efficiency (EF) of 0.02cm3cm−3, 6.69% and 0.78, respectively. The predicted soil water flux through the bottom of root zone agreed well with the measured ones supported by the values of RMSE (0.10mmd−1) and EF (0.92). The simulations indicated that the accumulated drainage out of root zone accounted for −27% to 19% of the applied water (irrigation and precipitation) among different crop seasons. As an application, the model was used to obtain the optimal irrigation management schedules for the hydrologic years of 75%, 50%, and 25% in the study area. The average amount of irrigation saving and reduction of water losses through drainage under optimal irrigation alternative were about 175mm and 101.9mm, respectively. This study shows that the developed root zone model has minimal input requirement, robust physical meaning and satisfactory simulation performance, which is more applicable and feasible for agricultural water management in the semi-arid area.

Suggested Citation

  • Ma, Ying & Feng, Shaoyuan & Song, Xianfang, 2013. "A root zone model for estimating soil water balance and crop yield responses to deficit irrigation in the North China Plain," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 13-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:127:y:2013:i:c:p:13-24
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2013.05.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Shi Qinglan & Shi Yujiao & Liu Xiaochen & Mei Shuli & Feng Lei, 2020. "A high-sensitivity multilayer soil moisture monitoring sensor based on a double high-frequency tuning detection circuit," International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks, , vol. 16(2), pages 15501477209, February.
    3. Sun, Hongyong & Zhang, Xiying & Liu, Xiujing & Liu, Xiuwei & Shao, Liwei & Chen, Suying & Wang, Jintao & Dong, Xinliang, 2019. "Impact of different cropping systems and irrigation schedules on evapotranspiration, grain yield and groundwater level in the North China Plain," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 202-209.
    4. Escarabajal-Henarejos, D. & Molina-Martínez, J.M. & Fernández-Pacheco, D.G. & García-Mateos, G., 2015. "Methodology for obtaining prediction models of the root depth of lettuce for its application in irrigation automation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 167-173.
    5. Mao, Wei & Yang, Jinzhong & Zhu, Yan & Ye, Ming & Wu, Jingwei, 2017. "Loosely coupled SaltMod for simulating groundwater and salt dynamics under well-canal conjunctive irrigation in semi-arid areas," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 209-220.
    6. Hong, Eun-Mi & Nam, Won-Ho & Choi, Jin-Yong & Pachepsky, Yakov A., 2016. "Projected irrigation requirements for upland crops using soil moisture model under climate change in South Korea," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 163-180.

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