Oxygation unlocks yield potentials of crops in oxygen-limited soil environments

Bhattarai, Surya P., Su, Ninghu, and Midmore, David, J. (2005) Oxygation unlocks yield potentials of crops in oxygen-limited soil environments. In: Sparks, Donald L., (ed.) Advances in Agronomy. Elsevier, pp. 313-377.

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Abstract

Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) offers well‐documented potential for improving water use efficiency in irrigated agriculture. However, SDI in common with other forms of irrigation is liable to exclude soil air (and therefore oxygen) around the root zone during and following irrigation events, thus reducing root function and crop performance. When SDI is practiced with oxygation (i.e., aerating the rhizosphere by way of the irrigation stream) it could transform the irrigation industry, for it provides a source of oxygen in a root environment that suffers from temporal hypoxia, and occasionally from anoxia. The oxygen is introduced into the irrigation stream by way of the venturi principle, or with solutions of hydrogen peroxide. Oxygation assures optimal root function, microbial activity, and mineral transformations, and leads to enhanced yield and water use efficiency under hypoxic conditions. It also improves plant performance and yield under irrigated conditions previously considered to be satisfactory for crop growth, and offers scope to offset some of the negative impacts of compaction and salinity, related to poor soil aeration, on crop growth. Representing minimal capital investment and recurrent costs, economic returns appear very favorable, as do associated benefits to the environment, measured as reduced drainage, containment of rising water tables, better nutrient use efficiency, and reduced demand by agriculture for irrigation water. The aeration status of irrigated soils deserves more attention than it has received in the past if we wish to unlock yield potential constrained by soil oxygen limitations and eVect the yield increases essential to keeping pace with future food (and fibre) demand.

Item ID: 8611
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-12-381023-6
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2010 04:03
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070199 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829805 Management of Water Consumption by Plant Production @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management @ 50%
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