Special Issue "Dryland Agriculture and Farming Techniques: From Soil to Plant Nutrient"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Farming Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 March 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jun Fan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
Interests: water and nutrient cycling in dryland farming; rapid improvement and maintenance of soil fertility in agricultural fields

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The international journal Agronomy (IF2020=3.417; ISSN, 2073-4395) is running a Special Issue entitled “Dryland Agriculture and Farming Techniques: From Soil to Plant Nutrient”. This Special Issue invites original research papers on soil water and nutrient cycling and management of dryland farming.

Dryland farming plays an esenssial role in agricultural production and global food supply security. However, shortage of water resources, low precipitation and asynchrony between crop growth and distribution limit crop production. Simultaneously, dryland agriculture is facing a great challenge of a growing world population and increasing extreme weather events in recent years. Modern dryland agriculture must respond to the new challenge to meet the agricultural Sustainable Development Goals. Hence, understanding the effect of various agricultural practices on soil quality (microbial diversity, soil organic matter, structure, physico-chemical properties, etc.) is urgently needed to better assess the role of dryland agriculture.

This Special Issue’s topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) Optimized fertilization practices, cropping systems and agronomic strategies for improving the limited water resource use efficiency and crop productivity;

(ii) Evaluation of the effects of fertilizer management on the soil nutrient cycle and water cycle;

(iii) Modeling of soil water and nutrient cycling and availability in dryland farming;

(iv) Innovation in dryland farming technologies, such as climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and precision agriculture.

Prof. Dr. Jun Fan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • dryland farming
  • water use efficiency
  • land productivity
  • fertilizing
  • soil properties
  • grain yield
  • rainfed agriculture
  • conservation tillage

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
An Environmentally Friendly Soil Amendment for Enhancing Soil Water Availability in Drought-Prone Soils
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy12010133 - 06 Jan 2022
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Abstract
Applying soil amendments plays a critical role in relieving water stress in arid and semiarid areas. The natural clay mineral attapulgite (ATP) can be utilized to adjust the balance of water and soil environment. In this study, we investigated four different particle size [...] Read more.
Applying soil amendments plays a critical role in relieving water stress in arid and semiarid areas. The natural clay mineral attapulgite (ATP) can be utilized to adjust the balance of water and soil environment. In this study, we investigated four different particle size distribution typical soils in the Loess Plateau: (1) lou soil (LS), (2) dark loessial soil (DS), (3) cultivated loess soil (CS), (4) sandy soil (SS). Five ATP application rates (0, 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4%) were selected to test the effect of ATP on the soil water retention curve, soil saturated hydraulic conductivity, and soil structure. The results showed that applied ATP significantly increased the soil clay content, and the relative change of SS with 3% ATP applied increased by 53.7%. The field water holding capacity of LS, DS, CS, and SS with 3% ATP applied increased by 8.9%, 9.6%, 18.2%, and 45.0%, respectively. Although applied ATP reduced the saturated hydraulic conductivity, the values of CS and SS were opposite when the amount of ATP applied was >3%. The relative change in the amount of 0.25–1 mm soil water-stable aggregates of SS was 155.9% when 3% ATP was applied. Applied ATP can enhance soil water retention and soil stability, which may improve limited water use efficiency and relieve soil desiccation in arid and semiarid areas or similar hydrogeological areas. Full article
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Article
Irrigation with Activated Water Promotes Root Growth and Improves Water Use of Winter Wheat
Agronomy 2021, 11(12), 2459; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11122459 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Magnetic or oxidation treatment of irrigation water can promote the transport of water and nutrients by the root system, improve the efficiency of water and fertilizer use and potentially increase yields. Hydroponic and field experiments were conducted to explore how irrigation with magnetized [...] Read more.
Magnetic or oxidation treatment of irrigation water can promote the transport of water and nutrients by the root system, improve the efficiency of water and fertilizer use and potentially increase yields. Hydroponic and field experiments were conducted to explore how irrigation with magnetized and/or oxidized water affects grain yield and water-use efficiency (WUE) in winter wheat with an emphasis on physiological changes in the root system. Hydroponic cultivation of winter wheat with pure groundwater and brackish water included the following treatments: control group (CK−G, CK−B); magnetization (GM, BM); oxidation (GO, BO); and the combination of magnetization and oxidation (G(M+O), B(M+O), G(O+M), B(O+M)). Field experiments only tested irrigation with various types of groundwater, including the control group (IG), magnetization treatment (IGM), oxidation treatment (IGO), and the combination of the two treatment methods (IG(M+O), IG(O+M)). Hydroponic cultivation revealed that the magnetic treatment and oxidation of both groundwater and brackish water can significantly improve the root vigor of winter wheat, i.e., improvements of 100.5–253.7% and 100.4–213.9% were seen in the groundwater and brackish treatment groups, respectively, relative to the control group. The root length density (RLD) of wheat increased by 67.6% (GM), 79.4% (GO), 7.5% (BM), and 40.0% (BO) relative to the respective control groups (CK−G and CK−B). Moreover, the root weight density (RWD) for BO and B(O+M) treatments improved significantly (66.7% and 55.4%, respectively) relative to CK−B. The maximal increases in root surface area density (RSD) were observed in treatments GO and B(O+M), which showed values 125% and 100%, respectively, higher than what was measured for the control groups. The root/shoot ratios of the GO and G(O+M) treatments improved significantly (by 75.3% and 62.0%, respectively) relative to CK−G. The results of field experiments showed that wheat in the IGO and IG(O+M) plots absorbed more water from the soil than wheat in the of IG plots (increases of 13.9% and 16.9%, respectively). Furthermore, the IGO and IG(O+M) treatments produced significantly higher grain yields and WUE than the IG plots, with IGO producing the maximum yield (11.7 × 103 kg ha−1) and IG(O+M) the highest observed WUE (30.3 kg ha−1 mm−1). Hence, the research provides clear evidence that the irrigation of winter wheat with magnetized and/or oxidized water can increase grain yields and WUE. Full article
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