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Open AccessArticle

Sustaining Yield of Winter Wheat under Alternate Irrigation Using Saline Water at Different Growth Stages: A Case Study in the North China Plain

1
State Engineering Laboratory of Efficient Water Use of Crops and Disaster Loss Mitigation of China/Key Laboratory of Dryland Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Beijing 100081, China
2
Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam 70060, Pakistan
3
Institute of Dryland Farming, Hebei Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Hengshui 053000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174564
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 13 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 22 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
Brackish water used for irrigation can restrict crop growth and lead to environmental problems. The alternate irrigation with saline water at different growth stages is still not well understood. Therefore, field trials were conducted during 2015–2018 in the NCP to investigate whether alternate irrigation is practicable for winter wheat production. The treatments comprised rain-fed cultivation (NI), fresh and saline water irrigation (FS), saline and fresh water irrigation (SF), saline water irrigation (SS) and fresh water irrigation (FF). The results showed that the grain yield was increased by 20% under SF and FS treatments compared to NI, while a minor decrease of 2% in grain yield was observed compared with FF treatment. The increased soil salinity and risk of long-term salt accumulation in the soil due to alternate irrigation during peak dry periods was insignificant due to leaching of salts from crop root zone during monsoon season. Although Na+ concentration in the leaves increased with saline irrigation, resulting in significantly lower K+:Na+ ratio in the leaves, the Na+ and K+ concentrations in the roots and grains were not affected. In conclusion, the alternate irrigation for winter wheat is a most promising option to harvest more yield and save fresh water resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: growth; saline irrigation; ion concentration; water productivity; soil salinity growth; saline irrigation; ion concentration; water productivity; soil salinity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Soothar, R.K.; Zhang, W.; Liu, B.; Tankari, M.; Wang, C.; Li, L.; Xing, H.; Gong, D.; Wang, Y. Sustaining Yield of Winter Wheat under Alternate Irrigation Using Saline Water at Different Growth Stages: A Case Study in the North China Plain. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4564.

AMA Style

Soothar RK, Zhang W, Liu B, Tankari M, Wang C, Li L, Xing H, Gong D, Wang Y. Sustaining Yield of Winter Wheat under Alternate Irrigation Using Saline Water at Different Growth Stages: A Case Study in the North China Plain. Sustainability. 2019; 11(17):4564.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Soothar, Rajesh K.; Zhang, Wenying; Liu, Binhui; Tankari, Moussa; Wang, Chao; Li, Li; Xing, Huanli; Gong, Daozhi; Wang, Yaosheng. 2019. "Sustaining Yield of Winter Wheat under Alternate Irrigation Using Saline Water at Different Growth Stages: A Case Study in the North China Plain" Sustainability 11, no. 17: 4564.

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