The response of barley to rainfall and temperature in different tillage and crop rotation systems in semi-arid conditions


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Abstract

Barley is a widespread crop of choice in the Spanish agricultural farming. A 7-year field study was realised to examine the barley yield data. Weather conditions were analysed and taken into account when considering the influence of the tillage systems (TS) and previous crop on barley. In general, barley yield increased with tillage intensity; however the analysis of tiller-count and thousand-grain weight of barley did not present significant differences within the different TS. Barley monoculture presented lower yield than the barley in rotation with fallow or vetch, especially in those years characterised by a greater annual rainfall than average over the 7 years of study (290 mm). Also, we observed that the presence of weeds was strongly influenced by the combined effects of the environmental conditions, TS, and previous crop.It was observed that high rainfall during sowing period or shortly after had a high positive impact on production efficiency and yields. Unexpectedly, the study demonstrated positive correlation between high December temperatures and resulting barley yield. It would be useful to take into account these results when selecting the crop variety for conservation planning in Mediterranean areas.

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