Journal article

Drainage and change in soil water storage below the root-zone under long fallow and continuous cropping sequences in the Victorian Mallee

MG O'Connell, GJ O'Leary, DJ Connor

AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2003

Abstract

A field study investigated drainage and changes in soil water storage below the root-zone of annual crops on a sandy loam soil in the Victorian Mallee for 8 years. It was designed to compare the effects of the common long (18-month) fallow in a 3-year rotation (fallow-wheat-pea, FWP) with a rotation in which the fallow was replaced with mustard (Brassica juncea), viz. mustard-wheat-pea (MWP). Drainage was measured over 2 periods (1993-98 and 1998-2001) using 9 in situ drainage lysimeters in each rotation. The first period of ∼5 years was drier than average (mean annual rainfall 298 cf. 339 mm) and drainage was low and variable. Drainage was greater under the fallow rotation (average 0.24 mm/..

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