In order to make certain the appropriate pattern of tillage and straw returning to soil in rain-fed agricultural region in the south of Liaoning Province, a 4-year field experiment has been conducted through a combination of different tillage ways and straw managements from 2011 to 2014. The effects of tillage and straw returning on soil water characteristic and water use efficiency were studied in 2014. The results showed that these treatments could improve soil water-holding capacity and spring maize water use efficiency, especially straw returning every year was better than that once every two years, deep tillage method was better than subsoil. Furthermore, the pattern of combination of deep tillage ways and straw returning every year（SMSR2） was the best one. Compared with the treatment of rotary tillage without straw returning（P）, soil mass water content has increased by 5.93% in 0-60 cm soil layer and soil water storage has increased by 31.69% in 0-100 cm layer in SMSR2, The leaf water use efficiency has improved 45.27% at jointing stage and 44.16% at booting flower stage in SMSR2. Under the treatment of SMSR2, soil water consumption at growth period significantly decreased, water use efficiency significantly increased compared with the treatment of P. In conclusion, the pattern of combination of deep tillage and straw returning every year was a scientific and effective way for plant spring maize planting and soil fertility improvement.
Journal of Shenyang Agricultural University
water use efficiency