Effects of rundown in soil hydraulic condition on crop productivity in south-eastern Queensland - a simulation study

Connolly, R. D., Freebairn, D. M., Bell, M. J. and Thomas, G. (2001) Effects of rundown in soil hydraulic condition on crop productivity in south-eastern Queensland - a simulation study. Soil Research, 39 5: 1111-1129. doi:10.1071/SR00089


Author Connolly, R. D.
Freebairn, D. M.
Bell, M. J.
Thomas, G.
Title Effects of rundown in soil hydraulic condition on crop productivity in south-eastern Queensland - a simulation study
Journal name Soil Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-9573
1838-6768
Publication date 2001-09-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/SR00089
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 39
Issue 5
Start page 1111
End page 1129
Total pages 19
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Declining soil organic matter levels because of cropping have been shown to reduce crop growth and yield, but the effects of changing infiltration and soil hydraulic properties on crop productivity have not been widely evaluated. Cropping systems in south-eastern Queensland have, in the past, involved intense tillage, trafficking with heavy machinery, and changed organic matter cycling, affecting soil aggregation, permeability, water-holding characteristics, and organic matter. The aim of this paper is to determine how important infiltration and soil hydraulic condition has been to the water balance, crop growth, and yield in the past, and may be in the future if management is not changed. Change in physical and chemical condition of the 5 most commonly cropped soils in south-east Queensland (Sodosols, Vertosols with ≤55% clay, Vertosols with >55% clay, Red Ferrosols and Red Chromosols/Kandosols) was measured over 0-70 years of cropping and estimated up to 200 years. The APSIM model was used to predict effects of changing soil condition in a rain-fed, fertilised, wheat-summer fallow cropping system with intense tillage. Decline in infiltration, restricted internal redistribution of water, and increased evaporation reduced water supply to the crop, causing simulated yield to decline by 29, 38, 25, 17, and 13% for the 5 soils, respectively, after 50 years of cropping. Gross margin declined at a faster rate, falling by 36, 50, 40, 20, and 21%, respectively after 50 years because of increasing fertiliser requirement to compensate for declining soil fertility. Crop productivity on most soils continued to steadily decline as period of cropping increased to 200 years. To arrest or reverse this downward trend, it is likely that substantial changes to current cropping systems will be needed, including reducing tillage and trafficking, and improving organic matter levels.
Keyword Cropping systems
Infiltration
Models
Soil structure
Sustainability
Wheat
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sat, 08 Mar 2014, 04:52:08 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)