Water use efficiency and precipitation use efficiency of crops in the semiarid prairie
The importance of water use efficiency (WUE) in crop production, in the semiarid prairie, is based on the fact that the available water is the most limiting factor influencing crop production. This poster compares water use efficiency of four crop rotations from the Swift Current, SK, long-term rotation experiment: fallow-wheat-wheat (F-W-W), F-flax-W (F-Flx-W), continuous wheat (Cont W) and wheat-lentil (W-Lent). We found that, the WUE of flax and lentil averaged 50% and 64%, respectively, of wheat following wheat. The precipitation required per unit of produce from the complete cropping system (PUE) increased with cropping intensity on a yield basis (kg ha-1 mm-1): Cont W (4.8) > W-Lent (4.2) > F-W-W (4.1) > F-Flx-W (2.9) (opposite response to WUE) and when PUE was calculated on a dollars produced per rotation basis ($ ha-1 mm-1): W-Lent (1.0) was higher than the other two rotations (0.6 to 0.7).
Soils and Crops Workshop