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Simulation of the impact of subsoil compaction on soil water balance and crop yield of irrigated maize on a loamy sand soil in SW Spain

Moreno, F., Murer, E.J., Stenitzer, E., Fernández, J.E., Girón, I.F.
Soil & tillage research 2003 v.73 no.1-2 pp. 31-41
Cambisols, Food and Agriculture Organization, Zea mays, corn, crop yield, crops, data collection, drainage, evapotranspiration, irrigation, loamy sand soils, models, rhizosphere, rooting, sandy soils, soil compaction, soil water balance, soil water content, Mediterranean region, Spain
Irrigation of crops in Mediterranean countries can produce some conditions that favour soil compaction processes. The SIMWASER model takes into account the effects of subsoil compaction on water balance and crop yield. The objectives of this paper were: (i) to test the mentioned model using the data set collected, during three years (1991–1993), from irrigation experiments with maize (Zea mays L., cv. Prisma) on a sandy soil (Cambisols (FAO, 1990) or Xerocrepts (USDA, 1998)) in SW Spain and (ii) to estimate the influence of subsoil compaction on soil water balance and crop yield assuming long lasting heavy subsoil compaction that may be developed under irrigation for the SW Spain conditions. The model was run to simulate soil water content, evapotranspiration, drainage below the root zone, and crop yield for the same period in which the experiment was carried out. Results of simulation were compared with the experimental results in order to know the agreement between them. The results obtained show a fairly good agreement between simulated and measured values for most of the parameters considered. For the scenario in which subsoil compaction is developed under irrigation, the results simulated by the model indicate a reduction of the rooting depth. However, the effects on water balance and crop yield in this sandy soil were not relevant under the SW Spain conditions.