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Using systems agronomy to exploit deep roots in crops

Code: 9781801460057
John Kirkegaard and Julianne Lilley, CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Australia

Chapter synopsis: In this chapter we review strategies to capture benefits from deeper rooting, taking the example of the semi-arid southern Australian wheat belt. The chapter focusses on the theme of better capturing deep subsoil water with deeper and more effective root systems. The chapter looks at ways of increasing root depth, the role of agronomic techniques as well as genetic improvement methods.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0075.24
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Wheat-based farming systems in south-eastern Australia – a brief overview 3 Unused subsoil water 4 Improving root systems to capture subsoil water 5 Increasing the depth of roots 6 Capturing more subsoil water – manipulating the system rather than the soil 7 Genetic improvements to rooting depth and density 8 Accounting for legacy effects 9 Scaling up to whole farm benefits 10 The future – using more of the soil and more of the season 11 Conclusions 12 Where to look for further information 13 References

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