Technical Report

 

Fallow-cropping systems in the Pacific Northwest Public Deposited

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Published January 1983. Facts and recommendations in this publication may no longer be valid. Please look for up-to-date information in the OSU Extension Catalog:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog

Information contained within documents may be obsolete. Please check for recent information at the OSU Extension Service website:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/results.php?cat=Agriculture

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  • A study of precipitation and yield levels in fallow-wheat rotations at three Pacific Northwest locations demonstrated that in the Columbia Plateau region, the variability and skewness of precipitation increased with decreasing mean amounts of precipitation. The seasonal distribution of precipitation had a marked effect on wheat yield. Comparisons of precipitation patterns with approximately the same cumulative precipitation total, but differing in seasonal distribution, indicated that the amount of precipitation received in the fallow period had a greater effect on yield than did the amount of precipitation received in the crop season. In areas of very low precipitation, fallowing was necessary to provide enough soil water to establish and produce an adult plant that could respond to crop season precipitation. In areas with higher levels of precipitation, where annual cropping was not successful, water stored during the fallow season also contributed directly to the yield potential of the crop. As the level of precipitation increased, the role of improved varieties and improved agronomic management shifted in emphasis. In general, varietal improvement plus the interaction of improved varieties and agronomic management became more important under more favorable climatic conditions. Under climatic conditions that favored a fallow-wheat rotation, wheat (Triticum aestivum) was produced with the same average water-use efficiency despite large differences in yield and precipitation levels of different locations.
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