Water and Crops

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 28889

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Guest Editor
College of Life Sciences, Yan’an University, Yan’an 716000, Shaanxi, China
Interests: irrigation water use efficiency; crop science; crop modelling; soil science; water and fertilizer management; plant nutrition; water-fertilizer interaction
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Guest Editor
1. College of Water and Architectural Engineering, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, China
2. Key Laboratory of Cold and Arid Regions Eco-Hydraulic Engineering of Xinjiang Production & Construction Corps, Shihezi 832000, China
Interests: ecological hydrology in arid areas; efficient utilization of water resources in arid areas; ecological hydrological models; unconventional water resource utilization in arid areas; hydrological cycle in inland river basins in arid areas
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Arid and semi-arid areas are short of fresh water resources. In order to obtain a certain total crop yield, some low-quality water, such as muddy water, urban sewage and industrial wastewater, brackish water and irrigation return water, should be used for irrigation. In addition, the stratified irrigation technology of reservoir and rainwater collection technology in hilly area are effective means to make full use of precipitation and bring the limited water resources into play to increase production.

The comprehensive utilization of agricultural water resources, it is from the perspective of the whole, the whole process from crops irrigation during whole growth period, the reasonable treatment of a variety of different water sources such as surface water, precipitation, ground water and brackish water, urban sewage and industrial waste water to make the best use of, in order to give full play to the role of the existing water resources in the benefits. Optimal management refers to the optimal collocation and allocation of various water sources in different regions, different crops, different growth stages of crops and different soil conditions while making comprehensive utilization. At the same time, the overall benefit can be achieved as high as possible while the adverse impact can be reduced to the lowest level. This special issue will provide a platform for research that will assess the impacts of water on crops.  We seek both application studies and methodological studies that focus on the interaction of water and other factor. The topics covered by this Special Issue will include but not limited to the following:

  • Crop water relations, crop yields and water productivity.
  • Rainwater harvesting and crop water management in rainfed areas.
  • Implications of groundwater and surface water management on nutrient cycling.
  • Irrigation, drainage, and salinity in cultivated areas.

Prof. Dr. Xiukang Wang
Prof. Dr. Guang Yang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • irrigation
  • water use efficiency
  • crop science
  • soil science
  • plant nutrition
  • water-fertilizer interaction
  • water cycle
  • water resources
  • brackish water irrigation

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 2581 KiB  
Article
Regulation of Flood Dynamics by a Check Dam System in a Typical Ecological Construction Watershed on the Loess Plateau, China
by Binhua Zhao, Tao Xin, Peng Li, Fangming Ma, Bei Gao and Rong Fan
Water 2023, 15(11), 2000; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15112000 - 25 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
The check dam is the most important engineering measure in place for controlling water and preventing soil loss in the gully on the Loess Plateau. This study assesses Jiuyuangou, a typical governance watershed of the Loess Plateau, and studies the influence that the [...] Read more.
The check dam is the most important engineering measure in place for controlling water and preventing soil loss in the gully on the Loess Plateau. This study assesses Jiuyuangou, a typical governance watershed of the Loess Plateau, and studies the influence that the check dam system has on the dynamics of sub-storm floods over different return periods by coupling the one-dimensional hydrodynamic MIKE 11 model with the distributed hydrological MIKE SHE model. This research demonstrates the following: The check dam system significantly reduces a flood’s peak flow and total volume in the basin and also increases the flood duration. The former effects are greater than the latter effect. The flood peak’s rate of reduction, the flood volume’s rate of reduction and the flood duration’s rate of increase all increase linearly as the number of check dams increase. Of all dam systems, the check dam has the best linear response to a flood peak’s rate of reduction. The check dam system reduces the flow rate of flood runoff in the basin. After the dam is built, the average flow rate in the basin decreases by 54%. The runoff velocity of the flood is reduced by different degrees over different return periods and the average peak value decreases compared with a scenario lacking any kind of dam. The check dams have a greater impact on the runoff velocity over a shorter return period, with the velocity being 58.56% slower. Finally, the check dam system significantly reduces the intensity of erosion in the middle and lower reaches of the watershed, and it changes the distribution of the intensity compared to the original channel runoff. These findings are expected to provide a scientific basis for guiding the construction and high-quality development of check dams on the Loess Plateau. In addition, check dam construction in basins can trap water, sediment and nutrients, and it can also contribute to ecosystem diversity and maintaining ecosystem imbalances around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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15 pages, 1141 KiB  
Article
Water Stress Induced Changes in Root Traits and Yield of Irrigated Rice under Subtropical Condition
by Md. Salahuddin Kaysar, Uttam Kumer Sarker, Sirajam Monira, Md. Alamgir Hossain, Nadira Mokarroma, Uzzal Somaddar, Gopal Saha, S. S. Farhana Hossain, Apurbo Kumar Chaki and Md. Romij Uddin
Water 2023, 15(4), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15040618 - 4 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2336
Abstract
The presence of water or the degree of soil saturation has a direct impact on the root development and function in rice. In this regard, a pot investigation was performed to test the response of root traits and yield components of boro (irrigated) [...] Read more.
The presence of water or the degree of soil saturation has a direct impact on the root development and function in rice. In this regard, a pot investigation was performed to test the response of root traits and yield components of boro (irrigated) rice. Three boro rice varieties named Binadhan-10, Hira-2 and BRRI dhan 29 were grown at four irrigation regimes, viz. continuous flooding (CF), saturation (S), 75% S and 50% S at Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh, throughout the boro period of 2020–2021. The study was replicated three times by employing a completely randomized design (CRD) method. The study revealed a drastic decline in root attributes at 75% and 50% S. A significant increase in root number (RN), root length (RL), root volume (RV), total dry matter (TDM) and grain yield (GY) under S condition followed by CF was observed. Binadhan-10 exhibited the largest scores of RN (359.00), RL (1577.83 cm) and RV (8.34 cm3 hill−1) at 80 DAT under S condition. Root attributes and GY were found to be substantially and positively associated in all observations. Binadhan-10 performed best with regard to seed output (26.13 g pot−1) under S condition. S condition increased the yield of Binadhan-10 in CF, 75% S and 50% S by 4.06%, 23.72% and 46.00%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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12 pages, 1716 KiB  
Article
Comparing CSM-CROPGRO and APSIM-OzCot Simulations for Cotton Production and Eddy Covariance-Based Evapotranspiration in Mississippi
by Amitava Chatterjee and Saseendran S. Anapalli
Water 2022, 14(24), 4022; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14244022 - 9 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1397
Abstract
Optimizing irrigation water use efficiency (WUE) is critical to reduce the dependency of irrigated cotton (Gossypium spp.) production on depleting aquifers. Cropping system models can integrate and synthesize data collected through experiments in the past and simulate management changes for enhancing WUE [...] Read more.
Optimizing irrigation water use efficiency (WUE) is critical to reduce the dependency of irrigated cotton (Gossypium spp.) production on depleting aquifers. Cropping system models can integrate and synthesize data collected through experiments in the past and simulate management changes for enhancing WUE in agriculture. This study evaluated the simulation of cotton growth and evapotranspiration (ET) in a grower’s field using the CSM-CROPGRO-cotton module within the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) and APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems simulator)-OzCot during 2017–2018 growing seasons. Crop ET was quantified using the eddy covariance (EC) method. Data collected in 2017 was used in calibrating the models and in 2018 validating. Over two cropping seasons, the simulated seedling emergence, flowering, and maturity dates were varied less than a week from measured for both models. Simulated leaf area index (LAI) varied from measured with the relative root mean squared errors (RRMSE) ranging between 20.6% to 38.7%. Daily ET deviated from EC estimates with root mean square errors (RMSEs) of 1.90 mm and 2.03 mm (RRMSEs of 63.1% and 54.8%) for the DSSAT and 1.95 mm and 2.17 mm (RRMSEs of 64.7% and 58.8%) for APSIM, during 2017 and 2018, respectively. Model performance varied with growing seasons, indicating improving ET simulation processes and long-term calibrations and validations are necessary for adapting the models for decision support in optimizing WUE in cotton cropping systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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12 pages, 234 KiB  
Article
Purification of Sewage Wastewater though Sand Column Filter for Lessening of Heavy Metals Accumulation in Lettuce, Carrot, and Cauliflower
by Safina Naz, Muhammad Akbar Anjum, Bushra Sadiq, Riaz Ahmad, Muhammad Ahsan Altaf, Mohamed A. El-Sheikh and Awais Shakoor
Water 2022, 14(22), 3770; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223770 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2218
Abstract
Sewage wastewater is one of the richest sources of mineral nutrients contributing toward plant growth and yield. However, the accumulation of heavy metals in the edible parts of vegetables and fruits can be dangerous to life. The current research aimed to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Sewage wastewater is one of the richest sources of mineral nutrients contributing toward plant growth and yield. However, the accumulation of heavy metals in the edible parts of vegetables and fruits can be dangerous to life. The current research aimed to evaluate the performance of a sand column filter for the elimination of heavy metals from sewage wastewater applied to selected vegetables. The contents of heavy metals, i.e., Pb+2, Ni+2, Cu+2, and Fe+2, were estimated to be higher in untreated sewage wastewater than in treated water. The number of leaves, fresh and dry weights of leaves, roots, and total biomass of lettuce, carrot, and cauliflower were improved due to the irrigation of unfiltered sewage wastewater compared to sewage wastewater. The curd diameter, fresh and dry weights of curd, stem fresh weight of cauliflower, and the root length and diameter of carrot increased after irrigation with the unfiltered sewage wastewater in comparison to the treated sewage wastewater. The accumulation of heavy metals, i.e., Pb+2, Ni+2, Cu+2, and Fe+2, was higher in the roots, leaves, and edible parts of the selected vegetables. In the present study, the Cd+2 and Cr+2 concentrations were not affected by the filtration process through a sand column filter. Conclusively, filtration through a sand column filter is effective for the removal of heavy metals from sewage wastewater used to irrigate agricultural land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
23 pages, 3734 KiB  
Article
Conceptualising and Implementing an Agent-Based Model of an Irrigation System
by Dengxiao Lang and Maurits Willem Ertsen
Water 2022, 14(16), 2565; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14162565 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2360
Abstract
The literature on irrigated agriculture is primarily concerned with irrigation techniques, irrigation water-use efficiency, and crop yields. How human and non-human agents co-shape(d) irrigation landscapes through their activities and how these actions impact long-term developments are less well studied. In this study, we [...] Read more.
The literature on irrigated agriculture is primarily concerned with irrigation techniques, irrigation water-use efficiency, and crop yields. How human and non-human agents co-shape(d) irrigation landscapes through their activities and how these actions impact long-term developments are less well studied. In this study, we aim to (1) explore interactions between human and non-human agents in an irrigation system; (2) model the realistic operation of an irrigation system in an agent-based model environment, and; (3) study how short-term irrigation management actions create long-term irrigation system patterns. An agent-based model (ABM) was used to build our Irrigation-Related Agent-Based Model (IRABM). We implemented various scenarios, combining different irrigation control methods (time versus water demand), different river discharges, varied gate capacities, and several water allocation strategies. These scenarios result in different yields, which we analyse on the levels of individual farmer, canal, and system. Demand control gives better yields under conditions of sufficient water availability, whereas time control copes better with water deficiency. As expected, barley (Hordeum vulgare, Poaceae) yields generally increase when irrigation time and/or river discharge increase. The effect of gate capacity is visible with yields not changing linearly with changing gate capacities, but showing threshold behaviour. With the findings and analysis, we conclude that IRABM provides a new perspective on modelling the human-water system, as non-human model agents can create the dynamics that realistic irrigation systems show as well. Moreover, this type of modelling approach has a large potential to be theoretically and empirically used to explore the interactions between irrigation-related agents and understand how these interactions create water and yields patterns. Furthermore, the developed user-interface model allows non-technical stakeholders to participate and play a role in modelling work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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14 pages, 2707 KiB  
Article
Study on Soil Water Infiltration Process and Model Applicability of Check Dams
by Heng Wu, Shengdong Cheng, Zhanbin Li, Ganggang Ke and Hangyu Liu
Water 2022, 14(11), 1814; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111814 - 4 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3460
Abstract
As the primary ecological construction measure on the Loess Plateau, check dams play an essential role in developing agricultural production, improving people’s production and life, and replenishing groundwater. Soil water infiltration is the most important way to replenish groundwater in the dam land. [...] Read more.
As the primary ecological construction measure on the Loess Plateau, check dams play an essential role in developing agricultural production, improving people’s production and life, and replenishing groundwater. Soil water infiltration is the most important way to replenish groundwater in the dam land. In order to investigate the water infiltration process of check dams, an empirical model suitable for the simulation of the dam land infiltration process was selected. The soil water infiltration process of the check dam was studied by a field test and a model simulation. The results showed that there were few macropores in the dam, and the water mainly moved downwards in the form of matrix flow. Moreover, the stable infiltration rate of the dam site was low, and its infiltration process could be divided into three stages: rapid infiltration, fluctuating infiltration, and stable infiltration. In addition, the infiltration rate of a non-silted dense layer was 2.4~5 times that of a silted dense layer. The Horton model had a good fitting effect on the water infiltration process of the check dam and thus was suitable for the simulation and prediction of the water infiltration process of the dam. The results can provide a theoretical basis for efficient soil water utilization and infiltration simulation of check dam land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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13 pages, 2073 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Straw Mulch Rates on the Runoff and Sediment Yield of Young Citrus Orchards with Lime Soil and Red Soil under Simulated Rainfall Conditions in Southwest China
by Zechao Gao, Qinxue Xu, Qin Si, Shuaipu Zhang, Zhiyong Fu and Hongsong Chen
Water 2022, 14(7), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071119 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1925
Abstract
Soil erosion has been a major environmental issue in young citrus orchards in karst areas of Southwest China. Straw mulching is an effective measure to reduce soil erosion. However, few studies have considered this measure in soil and water conservation in citrus orchards [...] Read more.
Soil erosion has been a major environmental issue in young citrus orchards in karst areas of Southwest China. Straw mulching is an effective measure to reduce soil erosion. However, few studies have considered this measure in soil and water conservation in citrus orchards in karst areas. In this study, the effects of straw mulching on runoff and sediment reduction in young citrus orchards were studied using the simulated rainfall method with two typical soils—red soil and lime soil—in karst areas. This study consisted of two rainfall intensities (60 and 120 mm/h) and four straw coverages (0, 20, 50, and 80%). The results showed that straw mulching can significantly reduce surface soil loss in both lime soil and red soil. The surface runoff reduction rate of lime soil with straw mulching was much higher than that of red soil. Under the condition of heavy rainfall (120 mm/h), the surface soil loss rate was reduced by more than 57.5% in lime soil with 20% straw mulching. In red soil, a similar reduction rate of soil loss can only be achieved when straw mulching is 50%. Straw mulching reduced the surface soil loss of lime soil in young citrus orchards, mainly because of limited runoff transport, while red soil was limited by soil stripping. The results can provide a scientific basis for soil and water conservation in young citrus orchards in karst areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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23 pages, 8603 KiB  
Article
Study on Infiltration and Soil Moisture Characteristics of a Sand-Covered Slope
by Feichao Wang, Guoce Xu, Zhanbin Li, Peng Li, Tian Wang, Jianwen Zhang, Jie Wang and Yuting Cheng
Water 2022, 14(7), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071043 - 25 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2000
Abstract
By observing the processes of infiltration, flow generation, water flow characteristics and the spatial distribution of erosion in a designed rainfall test, and analyzing the infiltration, flow generation characteristics, water content change characteristics, soil moisture parameters change characteristics, and changes in the spatial [...] Read more.
By observing the processes of infiltration, flow generation, water flow characteristics and the spatial distribution of erosion in a designed rainfall test, and analyzing the infiltration, flow generation characteristics, water content change characteristics, soil moisture parameters change characteristics, and changes in the spatial patterns of erosion and sediment yield, this study draws the following conclusions: under different rainfall densities, the initial runoff generation time of sand-covered slope is 1~12 min longer than that of loess slope, the initial soil infiltration velocity of sediment-covered slope is about 1.23 times that of loess slope, and the time to reach stable infiltration of loess slope is shorter than that of sediment-covered slope. Under different rainfall densities, the rising time of the water content curve of sand-covered slope is earlier than that of loess slope. For the same duration of rainfall, the vertical infiltration performance of soil water of sand-covered slope is higher than that of loess slope, and when the rainfall density on the slope increases by 0.5 mm/min, the increase in runoff shear stress of the sediment-covered slope is about 1.5 times that of the loess slope, and the runoff power is about 1.13 times that of the loess slope. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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20 pages, 5788 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Contribution of Rainwater Collection to Crop Production on Udo Island, Korea
by Minseok Kang, Chulsang Yoo and Wooyoung Na
Water 2021, 13(22), 3299; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223299 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2325
Abstract
This study evaluated the contribution of small agricultural reservoirs (the mool-tongs) to crop production on Udo, and the role they play. Agricultural water demand and deficit, water storage in the mool-tongs, and the amount of irrigation water were analyzed by applying the water [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the contribution of small agricultural reservoirs (the mool-tongs) to crop production on Udo, and the role they play. Agricultural water demand and deficit, water storage in the mool-tongs, and the amount of irrigation water were analyzed by applying the water balance model. In particular, the Blaney-Criddle method was used to estimate the agricultural water for crop growth. In this study, four typical crops of garlic, spring onion, peanut, and barley were considered, whose growing seasons were somewhat different from each other. A total of 47 years (1973–2019) of rainfall, temperature, and evaporation data were used in this study. As a result, it was confirmed that the crop coefficient, growing period of a crop, share of the cultivated area, and the seasonal distribution of rainfall affect the role of the mool-tongs. Comparison of the frequencies of occurrence of agricultural water deficit and irrigation interval before and after introducing the mool-tongs also confirms their usefulness. After the introduction of the mool-tongs for irrigation, the frequency of occurrence of agricultural water deficits changed significantly, from almost 30% of the entire simulation period to less than 20%. Even though the water supply capacity of the mool-tongs on Udo is insufficient to offset the entire agricultural water deficit, the water stored in the mool-tongs was found to considerably aid the survival of the crops and increase crop production. The results in this study can help to determine the capacity of rainwater collecting systems, especially on a small island where the available water resources are limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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Review

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15 pages, 763 KiB  
Review
Effects of Straw Mulching and Reduced Tillage on Crop Production and Environment: A Review
by Changliang Du, Lingling Li and Zechariah Effah
Water 2022, 14(16), 2471; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14162471 - 10 Aug 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 7990
Abstract
Taking sustainable agriculture measures is critical to effectively cope with the effect of the increasing population on water shortage. Straw mulching and reduced tillage are the most successful measures adopted in arid and semi-arid regions which affect crop production by changing the crop [...] Read more.
Taking sustainable agriculture measures is critical to effectively cope with the effect of the increasing population on water shortage. Straw mulching and reduced tillage are the most successful measures adopted in arid and semi-arid regions which affect crop production by changing the crop environment. This review focuses on the effects of tillage and mulching on the soil environment, including soil organic matter, soil moisture, soil temperature, soil microorganisms, soil enzyme activity, soil fertility, soil carbon emissions, pests, weeds, and soil erosion. In addition, water use efficiency and crop production are discussed under different tillage measures. Straw mulching can increase soil organic matter content, adjust soil moisture, and prevent water loss and drought; however, it can also lead to an increase in pests and diseases, and change the structure of the soil microbial community. Straw mulching can significantly enhance WUE (water use effectively) and yield. Reducing tillage maintains soil integrity, which is conducive to soil and water conservation, but could negatively impact crop yield and WUE. Precise field management measures, taken according to crop varieties and local conditions, not only ensure the high yield of crops but also protect the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Crops)
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