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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Crop & Pasture Science is a highly cited and prestigious journal publishing original research on advances in plant sciences, sustainable farming systems, and food quality. More

Editors-in-Chief: Sergio Atienza and Zed Rengel


blank image Crop and Pasture Science
Volume 66 Number 6 2015
Crop Sequences in Modern Australian Farming Systems

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Crop sequences in modern Australian farming systems  
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R. A. Lawes
pp. i-ii

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Break crops and rotations for wheat 
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J. F. Angus, J. A. Kirkegaard, J. R. Hunt, M. H. Ryan, L. Ohlander and M. B. Peoples
pp. 523-552

Based on a meta-analysis of >900 comparisons, we found that wheat growing after break crops exceeds the yield after wheat. The mean additional yield varied from 0.5 t ha–1 after oats, to 0.8 t ha–1 after temperate oilseeds and 1.2 t ha–1 after temperate grain legumes, and was generally not proportional to yield of wheat after wheat. Mechanisms by which break crop affect yield were reduced root disease, more residual water and nitrogen, better weed control, H2 fertilisation by legumes and possible effects on mycorrhizae.

    | Supplementary Material (96 KB)

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Long-term cropping system studies support intensive and responsive cropping systems in the low-rainfall Australian Mallee 
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A. M. Whitbread, C. W. Davoren, V. V. S. R. Gupta, R. Llewellyn and the late D. Roget
pp. 553-565

Continuous-cropping systems based on no-till and crop residue retention have been adopted widely in low-rainfall regions of Southern Australia in response to the low productivity and unsustainable practices of the traditional rotations. Long-term field trials showed that continuous cropping can be profitable where water-use efficiency was increased, and that in a run of drought years, this occurred on the light-textured soils. Managing climatic risk and deciding when break crops can be effectively sequenced to manage weeds, nutrition issues or disease remains a challenge to sustaining continuous-cropping systems.


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Break-crop effects on wheat production across soils and seasons in a semi-arid environment 
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T. M. McBeath, V. V. S. R. Gupta, R. S. Llewellyn, C. W. Davoren and A. M. Whitbread
pp. 566-579

Consistent with work in higher rainfall environments, the inclusion of breaks appears to have a fixed effect on subsequent cereal yield. Three years after incorporation of a break there were cumulative benefits of ~1 t ha–1 in wheat yield compared with continuous cereal. Breaks were found to enhance nitrogen cycling and supply in subsequent cereal crops, and this is considered a key driver of the beneficial break effect.


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Crop-sequence effects on productivity in a wheat-based cropping system at Wongan Hills, Western Australia 
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R. J. French, R. S. Malik and M. Seymour
pp. 580-593

Wheat yield responded positively when grown after fallow, oats cut for hay, volunteer pasture, lupins, and serradella pasture compared to wheat, but not after barley or canola, in a four-year experiment at Wongan Hills, Western Australia. Effects were mediated by differences in soil water, soil nitrogen, and annual ryegrass population. Effects mediated by soil water and soil nitrogen lasted at most two years, but the weed population effects were still strong three years after the treatment crops.

    | Supplementary Material (444 KB)

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Dynamic crop sequencing in Western Australian cropping systems 
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Raj S. Malik, Mark Seymour, Robert J. French, John A. Kirkegaard, Roger A. Lawes and Mark A. Liebig
pp. 594-609

The study demonstrated the benefits of break crops in a wheat-based system. Crops yielded more when grown on residues other than their own and often experienced significant yield penalties when grown on their own residues or on residues of similar crop types. Wheat treated with fluquinconazole seed dressing consistently produced significantly higher yields than untreated wheat. The subsoil N fertility and grain yield of wheat treatments were markedly improved following lupins and the effect lasted for at least 2 years.


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Considering long-term ecological effects on future land-use options when making tactical break-crop decisions in cropping systems 
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Michael Renton, Roger Lawes, Tess Metcalf and Michael Robertson
pp. 610-621

The Land Use Sequence Optimiser (LUSO) framework was adapted to enable it to analyse immediate tactical decisions regarding break crops and sequencing, while accounting for both short- and long-term implications. The revised framework was applied to two example scenarios to demonstrate how it can be used for simple decision-support, as well as more in-depth analysis and insight into the factors influencing the immediate decision.


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Gaining insight into the risks, returns and value of perfect knowledge for crop sequences by comparing optimal sequences with those proposed by agronomists 
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Roger Lawes and Michael Renton
pp. 622-633

Here we value the profitability and risk of crop sequences over a 10 year time frame in a semi-arid farming region in Australia, where optimal crop sequences are compared to those chosen by local agronomists. The optimal crop sequence suggested farmers grow two break crops or pastures in succession to manage severe weed and disease problem, while agronomists tended to recommend a similar number of break crops and pastures, but grow them at regular intervals. The value of a particular crop sequence relative to another is dependent on the level of biotic stress present, while the risk of a particular crop and the risk of a crop sequence over 10 years are often unrelated.


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Crop sequences in Western Australia: what are they and are they sustainable? Findings of a four-year survey 
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Martin Harries, Geoffrey C. Anderson and Daniel Hüberli
pp. 634-647

A survey was conducted of commercial broadacre paddocks in the south-west cropping zone of Western Australia from 2010 to 2013. Cropping of wheat, canola, barley and lupin accounted for 85% of land use. Weed density, soilborne pathogens and soil N were maintained at levels suitable for wheat production. However, changes in land use over the past decade to less legume and more oilseed crops are likely to alter soilborne pathogen and nitrogen/carbon dynamics in the longer term.

   |        Open Access Article

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Published online 14 April 2015
Saline water irrigation of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) under Mediterranean conditions 
Attila Yazar, Çigdem Incekaya, S. Metin Sezen and Sven-Erik Jacobsen

Irrigation and evapotranspiration, grain yield, aboveground biomass yield and harvest index were evaluated under fresh and saline water regimes. Different parameters, such as water productivity and irrigation water productivity, yield components, leaf area index and plant height, were studied to assess quinoa’s growth and yield. Grain yields were slightly reduced by irrigation water salinity compared with fresh water irrigation. Results showed that quinoa can be irrigated with saline water with EC level up to 30 dS m–1 with acceptable yields in the semi-arid and arid regions of the Mediterranean Basin.

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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

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    Dynamic Crop Sequencing in Western Australian Cropping Systems
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    CP15077  Accepted 08 May 2015
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    Ewald Swinny, Clinton Revell, Neil Campbell, Edward Spadek, Charles Russo

    CP14286  Accepted 06 May 2015
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    CP14361  Accepted 03 May 2015
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    Michael Robertson, Greg Rebetzke, Robert Norton

    CP15070  Accepted 29 April 2015
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    Junping Wang, Noel Cogan, Luke Pembleton, John Forster

    CP15061  Accepted 29 April 2015
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    Josh Davy, Betsy Karle, Guy Kyser, Joseph DiTomaso, Matthew Rinella

    CP15031  Accepted 29 April 2015
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    Michael Ashworth, Michael Walsh, Ken Flower, Stephen Powles

    CP14179  Accepted 29 April 2015
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    Malcolm McCaskill, Margaret Raeside, Steve Clark, Caroline MacDonald, Bronwyn Clark, Debra Partington

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    CP14256  Accepted 27 April 2015
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    Zhenzhen Cao, Qian Zhao, Fudeng Huang, Kesu Wei, Syed Hassan Raza Zaidi, Weijun Zhou, Fangmin Cheng

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    CP15054  Accepted 20 April 2015
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    CP14311  Accepted 07 April 2015
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    CP15064  Accepted 20 March 2015
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    CP14221  Accepted 18 February 2015
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    CP14262  Accepted 10 February 2015
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    CP14236  Accepted 05 February 2015
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    CP14305  Accepted 04 February 2015
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    CP14228  Accepted 03 February 2015
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    CP14264  Accepted 28 January 2015
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    Jinshan Liu, Jie Fu, Hui Tian, Yajun Gao

    CP14211  Accepted 27 January 2015
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    CP14326  Accepted 21 January 2015
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    CP14135  Accepted 19 January 2015
    Considering long-term ecological effects on future land-use options when making tactical break-crop decisions in cropping systems
    Michael Renton, Roger Lawes, Tess Metcalf, Michael Robertson

    CP14247  Accepted 19 January 2015
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    Raffaella Petruccelli, Alessandra Bonetti, Maria Laura Traversi, Cecilia Faraloni, Massimo Valagussa, Alessandro Pozzi

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    CP14185  Accepted 19 December 2014
    Gaining insight into the risks returns and value of perfect knowledge for crop sequences by comparing optimal sequences with those proposed by agronomists.
    Roger Lawes, Michael Renton

    CP14160  Accepted 27 November 2014
    Optimized nitrogen fertilizer management achieved higher diversity of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi and high-yielding maize (Zea mays L.)
    Gu Feng, Xiaojing Wang, Xinxin Wang

    CP14227  Accepted 18 November 2014
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    Kianoush Khodamoradi, Amir Hossen Khoshgoftarmanesh, Neda Dalir, Majid Afyuni, Rainer Schulin

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    CP13156  Accepted 14 May 2013
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    Mike Ewing, David Chatel, Michael Poole, William Collins


The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 30 October 2014
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Z. Lin, B. J. Hayes and H. D. Daetwyler

2. Published 27 June 2014
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Lindsay W. Bell, Richard C. Hayes, Keith G. Pembleton and Cathy M. Waters

3. Published 7 August 2014
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R. A. Richards, J. R. Hunt, J. A. Kirkegaard and J. B. Passioura

4. Published 7 August 2014
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Hayden Sprigg, Robert Belford, Steve Milroy, Sarita Jane Bennett and David Bowran

5. Published 27 June 2014
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Richard J. Simpson, Alan E. Richardson, Shirley N. Nichols and James R. Crush

6. Published 31 March 2015
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Matthew T. Harrison, Walter M. Kelman and Jim M. Virgona

7. Published 28 August 2014
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R. P. Rawnsley, A. D. Langworthy, K. G. Pembleton, L. R. Turner, R. Corkrey and D. J. Donaghy

8. Published 28 August 2014
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S. C. García, M. R. Islam, C. E. F. Clark and P. M. Martin

9. Published 30 October 2014
Progress in developing perennial wheats for grain and grazing

Philip J. Larkin, Matthew T. Newell, Richard C. Hayes, Jesmin Aktar, Mark R. Norton, Sergio J. Moroni and Len J. Wade

10. Published 28 August 2014
Interaction between plant physiology and pasture feeding value: a review

D. F. Chapman, J. M. Lee and G. C. Waghorn

11. Published 12 May 2014
Effects of banded ammonia and urea fertiliser on soil properties and the growth and yield of wheat

J. F. Angus, V. V. S. R. Gupta, G. D. Pitson and A. J. Good

12. Published 28 August 2014
Perennial pasture grasses—an historical review of their introduction, use and development for southern Australia

K. F. M. Reed

13. Published 7 October 2014
Developing the role of perennial forages for crop–livestock farms: a strategic multi-disciplinary approach

Rick S. Llewellyn, Michael J. Robertson, Richard C. Hayes, David Ferris, Katrien Descheemaeker and Clinton Revell

14. Published 29 January 2015
Methane in Australian agriculture: current emissions, sources and sinks, and potential mitigation strategies

Damien Finn, Ram Dalal and Athol Klieve

15. Published 30 October 2014
Resources and strategies for implementation of genomic selection in breeding of forage species

J. W. Forster, M. L. Hand, N. O. I. Cogan, B. J. Hayes, German C. Spangenberg and K. F. Smith

16. Published 12 September 2014
Viruses of New Zealand pasture grasses and legumes: a review

P. L. Guy

17. Published 28 August 2014
Agronomic advantages conferred by endophyte infection of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) in Australia

D. E. Hume and J. C. Sewell

18. Published 7 August 2014
Improving water productivity in the Australian Grains industry—a nationally coordinated approach

J. A. Kirkegaard, J. R. Hunt, T. M. McBeath, J. M. Lilley, A. Moore, K. Verburg, M. Robertson, Y. Oliver, P. R. Ward, S. Milroy and A. M. Whitbread

19. Published 29 April 2015
Yield and water-use efficiency of wheat in a high-rainfall environment

Tina Botwright Acuña, Shaun Lisson, Peter Johnson and Geoff Dean

20. Published 27 June 2014
Frontiers and perspectives on research strategies in grassland technology

J. Schellberg and E. Verbruggen

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