Crop Sequencing to Improve Productivity and Profitability in Irrigated Double Cropping Using Agricultural System Simulation Modelling

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Abstract

Land and water are two major inputs for crop production. Simulation modelling was used to determine crop sequences that maximise farm return. Crop yield was determined for different irrigation scheduling scenarios based on the fraction of available soil water (FASW). Farm returns ($ ML−1 and $ ha−1) were evaluated for seven crop sequences. Three irrigation water price scenarios (dry, median, wet) were considered. The yield of summer crops increased with irrigation. For winter crops, despite increase in irrigation, the yield would not increase. The optimum irrigation (ML ha−1) was: soybean 8.2, maize 10.4, wheat 2.5, barley 3.1, fababean 2.5, and canola 2.7. The water productivity curve of summer crops has a parabolic shape, increasing with FASW, reaching a maximum value at FASW 0.4–0.6, and then decreasing. The water productivity of winter crops decreases as FASW increases following a power function. Gross margins are positive when water is cheap ($60 ML−1) and when water has a median price ($124 ML−1). When water is expensive ($440 ML−1), positive gross margin would be obtained only for the continuous wheat scenario. Deficit irrigation of summer crops leads to significant yield loss. Supplemental irrigation of winter crops results in the highest gross margin per unit of water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1229
JournalAgronomy
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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