Maintaining cereal production in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon presents a serious challenge. Lack of water is the driving force of agricultural research which is mainly focused on introduction of drought resistant cultivars, application of conservation tillage and supplemental irrigation. In this context forty-eight experimental plots were laid out for three years in a statistical split plot design. The statistical analyses showed that aboveground biomass and yield were significantly affected by irrigation for barley but not for the yield of durum wheat. Effects of soil tillage practices and introduction of new cultivares were not significant. A soil survey indicated that the implicit assumption of soil homogeneity of the agronomic design was correct for surface soil but that two different soil types (Cambisols and Fluvisols) had to be distinguished considering subsoil conditions and corresponding rooting patterns. Therefore, the main objective of this paper was to determine the effects of different soil types on crop response and, in addition, to assess how physically-based modeling can predict future effects of climate change on crops and soils. Simulation model SWAP was validated for local conditions using measurements of soil water contents, aboveground biomass and yield of wheat. Considering two rather than one soil type for the experimental area resulted in different conclusions for both crops as to the effectivity of both conservation tillage and irrigation, demonstrating that a distinction of only one soil type results in misleading results. The validated model was applied to estimate yields considering climate change, focusing on the application of supplemental irrigation. Yields for “Mikii3” a durum wheat cultivar are expected to increase by appr. 14% in both soils due to climate change. More importantly, only 3 supplemental irrigations would be needed for the deep soil requiring 5% more water as compared with current climate trend, while the shallow soil needs 13 irrigations, corresponding with a need for 35% more water. This is highly significant from an economic point of view and supports the relevance of distinguishing two soil types. It was demonstrated the synergy of joint research by the agronomic and soil science community and the need for executing a soil survey in future when planning agronomic experiments, including a hydrological soil characterisation.

The role of soils in the analysis of potential agricultural production: A case study in Lebanon

Langella, G.;
2017

Abstract

Maintaining cereal production in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon presents a serious challenge. Lack of water is the driving force of agricultural research which is mainly focused on introduction of drought resistant cultivars, application of conservation tillage and supplemental irrigation. In this context forty-eight experimental plots were laid out for three years in a statistical split plot design. The statistical analyses showed that aboveground biomass and yield were significantly affected by irrigation for barley but not for the yield of durum wheat. Effects of soil tillage practices and introduction of new cultivares were not significant. A soil survey indicated that the implicit assumption of soil homogeneity of the agronomic design was correct for surface soil but that two different soil types (Cambisols and Fluvisols) had to be distinguished considering subsoil conditions and corresponding rooting patterns. Therefore, the main objective of this paper was to determine the effects of different soil types on crop response and, in addition, to assess how physically-based modeling can predict future effects of climate change on crops and soils. Simulation model SWAP was validated for local conditions using measurements of soil water contents, aboveground biomass and yield of wheat. Considering two rather than one soil type for the experimental area resulted in different conclusions for both crops as to the effectivity of both conservation tillage and irrigation, demonstrating that a distinction of only one soil type results in misleading results. The validated model was applied to estimate yields considering climate change, focusing on the application of supplemental irrigation. Yields for “Mikii3” a durum wheat cultivar are expected to increase by appr. 14% in both soils due to climate change. More importantly, only 3 supplemental irrigations would be needed for the deep soil requiring 5% more water as compared with current climate trend, while the shallow soil needs 13 irrigations, corresponding with a need for 35% more water. This is highly significant from an economic point of view and supports the relevance of distinguishing two soil types. It was demonstrated the synergy of joint research by the agronomic and soil science community and the need for executing a soil survey in future when planning agronomic experiments, including a hydrological soil characterisation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/727317
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