Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
Crop and Pasture Science

Crop and Pasture Science

Volume 67 Number 5 2016

CP15053The history of using rainfall data to improve production in the grain industry in Australia—from Goyder to ENSO

Derek Yates, R. Willem Vervoort, Budiman Minasny and Alex McBratney
pp. 467-479

Rainfall is the major driver for dryland wheat yields across Australia, and there is a long tradition of research into rainfall distributions and trends in Australia. The aim of this study is to review the history of rainfall data collection, and the efficacy and persistence of different rainfall indices, analytical methods and related forecasts for grain production. Increasing spatial and temporal data density might offer opportunities to revisit simple indicators as seasonal forecasts, which, in combination with climate models and crop models, may deliver new insights and future value for grain producers.

CP15211Physiological response cascade of spring wheat to soil warming and drought

D. F. Weldearegay, F. Yan, S. K. Rasmussen, S.-E. Jacobsen and F. Liu
pp. 480-488

Genotypic diversity in response to drought and heat stress, individually or in combination, of three spring wheat cultivars was investigated. In all cultivars, stomatal conductance was the most sensitive variable to drought, followed by photosynthetic rate, leaf water potential and relative water content the least. The different sensitivity of stomatal conductance to soil drying between the three cultivars reveal their adaptability to different drought and/or heat stress scenarios, which could be used for selecting suitable cultivars grown in a certain environment.

Understanding the genetic control of agronomic traits is important to better design a crop improvement program. We studied the genetic control of root length under water stress and found that genotypes with longer roots have more dominant genes than others. Drought resistant genotypes can be developed by incorporating genotypes with more dominant genes into a wheat breeding program.

CP15351Soil amendment with biochar increases maize yields in a semi-arid region by improving soil quality and root growth

Qian Xiao, Li-Xia Zhu, Hong-Pei Zhang, Xiu-Yun Li, Yu-Fang Shen and Shi-Qing Li
pp. 495-507

Biochar has been widely proposed to farmland soils as a promising approach to improve soil quality and crop productivity. To clarify the soil–root–shoot interactions, we conduct a 2-year field trail and found that biochar additions optimize soil physico-chemical properties and thereby improve crop root growth, which eventually enhance grain yield and crop nutrient level. These beneficial results can provide the scientific basis for large scale application of biochar.

Intercropping of maize with peanut at 1 : 5 and 1 : 2 row proportions gave the highest maize equivalent yield with better system productivity over maize alone. Higher row proportion of intercrops suppressed the weed growth and nutrient mining by weeds as well. Soil moisture content and solar radiation interception was judiciously utilized with higher row proportions. The energy indices were improved with intercropping and obtained higher energy use efficiencies.

Random surveys conducted in Western Australia have shown that herbicide resistance in major crop weeds is increasing. The latest survey in Avena revealed that 48% of populations displayed resistance to Group A herbicides while resistance to Groups B and K were detected for the first time. Resistance has remained stable over the last five years; however, non-herbicidal options are also needed to sustain these cropping systems in the future.

CP15314A comparative proteomic study of drought-tolerant and drought-sensitive soybean seedlings under drought stress

X. Yu, A. T. James, A. Yang, A. Jones, O. Mendoza-Porras, C.-A. Bétrix, H. Ma and M. L. Colgrave
pp. 528-540

Drought is a major factor limiting plant growth reducing yield in crops. We compared the changes in proteins in drought-tolerant and drought-sensitive soybean leaves under water restriction and showed that the two types responded differently to drought stress. The different response patterns in proteins may be potentially used for screening and selecting candidate soybean lines to improve drought tolerance and assist in the production of drought-tolerant soybean varieties.

CP15165NB-LRR gene family required for Rsc4-mediated resistance to Soybean mosaic virus

Na Li, Jin Long Yin, Cui Li, Da Gang Wang, Yong Qing Yang, A. Karthikeyan, He Xiang Luan and Hai Jian Zhi
pp. 541-552

The Rsc4 gene confer resistance to SMV was previously mapped to Ch14 and three candidate genes encoding NB-LRR proteins was localized in this region. Among these genes, mRNA level and coding sequence are different between resistant and susceptible cultivar. Silencing this three genes make plants more susceptible to SMV indicates that at least one of them is required for the resistance.

CP15145Comparative responses to water deficit stress and subsequent recovery in the cultivated beet Beta vulgaris and its wild relative B. macrocarpa

Inès Slama, Asma Jdey, Aida Rouached, Ons Talbi, Ahmed Debez, Tahar Ghnaya, Mohamed Anis Limami and Chedly Abdelly
pp. 553-562

The physiology of B. macrocarpa under limiting water supply has not been yet studied. Thus, the present work aims to investigate the behaviour of two Tunisian provenances of B. macrocarpa to water deficit stress. Enfidha, the most drought tolerant provenance, could be used in the marginal arid ecosystems in order to limit the deficit in fodder and to improve the pastoral value of these regions.

Lucerne is a resilient forage species that has potential in irrigation regions when water may be limited. Research which restricted the volume of irrigation water applied to lucerne stands revealed that, although DM production was reduced under water stress, the lucerne stands were able to fully recover once full irrigation was resumed. This suggests that lucerne is an ideal species to grow under irrigation in situations with limited water.

Leaves production is a key point in based grasslands livestock production systems. We tested the hypothesis that intercropping two annual forage species can increase total and leaf forage production compared with their monocultures. It is suggested that intercropping black oat and annual ryegrass does not change their tiller ontogenetic processes and that the association of their different size and shape could increase pasture leaf production over their monocultures.

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