Food Supply and Water Resources: An Agricultural-Hydrological Perspective

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 August 2020) | Viewed by 13810

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Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Interests: water demand in agriculture; productivity of water use in agriculture; farming measures; hydrological processes; water footprint assessment of meat and dairy products; reliable models to estimate water-related indicators; communication networks for remote water management
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Owing to the impacts of climate change, the spotlight is on water resources as the basis for agricultural production. Water productivity in plant production and in livestock farming will need to be increased in a changing climate. In this context, it is useful to think of rain as the ultimate source of water for all agroecosystems (Descheemaeker et al., 2013). In this Special Issue, the main focus is on precipitation that is stored as soil moisture and eventually transpired or evaporated. A more productive use of precipitation water implies a reduced need for additional technical water resources in the form of, e.g., irrigation (Ran et al., 2016). To substantially increase the productivity of precipitation water use in agriculture, detailed knowledge about farm management practices and related hydrological processes based on a scientifically sound methodological framework are necessary.

The following three questions should be addressed by the authors of the Special Issue:

Which farm management practices within livestock and plant production have been identified to substantially raise rainwater productivity? Which quantitative water savings were achieved? Which methodological framework was used to assess the water savings?

The aims of the Special Issue include:

  • Publishing results on quantitative water savings achieved: results of experimental trials, farmer practices’ monitoring, etc., including traditional farmer practices and/or innovating farmer practices to save water in agriculture;
  • Publishing results on methodological frameworks used to assess the water savings achievable with farm management practices;
  • Water savings considered at the application (plot/field/farm) level;
  • Inclusion of an assessment of uncertainty, which is mandatory for each study.

Descheemaeker, K.; Bunting, S.W.; Bindraban, P.; Muthuri, C.; Molden, D.; Beveridge, M.; van Brakel, M.; Herrero, M.; Clement, F.; Boelee, E.; et al. Increasing Water Productivity in Agriculture; In Managing Water and Agroecosystems for Food Security, E. Boelee, ed.; CABI: Wallingford, UK, 2013; pp. 104–123.

Ran, Y.; Lannerstad, M.; Herrero, M.; Van Middelaar, C.E.; De Boer, I.J.M. Assessing water resource use in livestock production: a review of methods. Livestock Sci. 2016, 187, 68–79.

Dr. Katrin Drastig
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • farm management practices
  • rainwater productivity
  • plant production
  • livestock farming
  • precipitation water
  • case studies

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 922 KiB  
Article
Case Study of Effects of Mineral N Fertilization Amounts on Water Productivity in Rainfed Winter Rapeseed Cultivation on a Sandy Soil in Brandenburg (Germany) over Three Years
by Katrin Drastig, Ulrich Kreidenweis, Andreas Meyer-Aurich, Christian Ammon and Annette Prochnow
Water 2021, 13(14), 1958; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141958 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1827
Abstract
Detailed knowledge about farm management practices and related hydrological processes on water productivity is required to substantially increase the productivity of precipitation water use in agriculture. With this in mind, the effect of the nitrogen (N) fertilization level on water productivity of winter [...] Read more.
Detailed knowledge about farm management practices and related hydrological processes on water productivity is required to substantially increase the productivity of precipitation water use in agriculture. With this in mind, the effect of the nitrogen (N) fertilization level on water productivity of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) was analyzed using a modeling approach and field measurements. In this first study of interception loss and water productivity in winter oilseed rape, the crop was cultivated in a field experiment on a sandy soil in Brandenburg (Germany) under five nitrogen fertilization treatments with 0, 60, 120, 180, and 240 kg mineral N ha−1 a−1. Based on data from three vegetation periods the water flows and the mass-based water productivity of seeds were calculated on a daily basis with the AgroHyd Farmmodel modeling software. As recommended from the recently developed guidelines of the FAO on water use in agriculture, the method water productivity was applied and uncertainties associated with the calculations were assessed. Economic profit-based water productivity (WPprofit) was calculated considering the costs of fertilization and the optimal level of N fertilization, which was determined based on a quadratic crop yield response function. Mean water productivity of seeds varied from 1.16 kg m−3 for the unfertilized control sample to 2.00 kg m−3 under the highest fertilization rate. N fertilization had a clearly positive effect on WPprofit. However, fertilizer application rates above 120 kg N ha−1 a−1 led to only marginal increases in yields. Water productivity of seeds under the highest fertilization rate was only insignificantly higher than under medium application rates. The optimum N level for the maximal WPprofit identified here was higher with 216 kg N ha−1 a−1. The conclusion is that further research is needed to investigate the interaction between fertilization and other farm management practices. Full article
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27 pages, 5444 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Best Crop Practices in the Pig and Poultry Production on Water Productivity in a Southern Brazilian Watershed
by Sofia Helena Zanella Carra, Julio Cesar Pascale Palhares, Katrin Drastig and Vania Elisabete Schneider
Water 2020, 12(11), 3014; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113014 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2932
Abstract
This study analyzes the relation between Brazilian broiler and pig production and water productivity using recently developed reference guidelines on water footprinting for livestock production systems and supply chains. Different rainfed crop arrangements, in different scenarios and producer regions in Brazil, were assessed. [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the relation between Brazilian broiler and pig production and water productivity using recently developed reference guidelines on water footprinting for livestock production systems and supply chains. Different rainfed crop arrangements, in different scenarios and producer regions in Brazil, were assessed. Water productivity of broiler feed consumption ranged from 0.63 to 1.38 kg per m3 water input to rainfed summer maize (safra) and from 1.20 to 2.21 kg per m3 water input to winter maize (safrinha) while it ranged from 0.28 to 0.95 kg per m3 water input to rainfed soy. For pig feed consumption, rainfed maize ranged from 0.68 to 1.49 kg per m3 water input (safra) and from 1.30 to 2.38 kg per m3 water input (safrinha) while it ranged from 0.30 to 1.03 kg per m3 water input to rainfed soy. A potential amount of water saving of 0.0336 km3 year−1 and 0.0202 km3 year−1 could be attained for producing broiler and pig feed, respectively, depending on the crop rotation and producer region. The results showed that the evapotranspiration of animal feed production represents more than 99% of the total water consumption for broiler and pig production in the study area. The implementation of best crop practices resulted in higher water productivity values of chicken and pork meat and also improved the rainfall water-saving in comparison to conventional agriculture. Hence, the water productivity of the animal production chain in tropical regions demands a close relation to agriculture in order to attain a better understanding and improvement of rainfall water productivity for animal feed production. Full article
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21 pages, 2378 KiB  
Article
Study of Water Productivity of Industrial Hemp under Hot and Dry Conditions in Brandenburg (Germany) in the Year 2018
by Katrin Drastig, Inken Flemming, Hans-Jörg Gusovius and Werner B. Herppich
Water 2020, 12(11), 2982; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112982 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5760
Abstract
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a high-yielding multi-purpose crop, but its hydrological functioning is poorly understood. Studies on the interception processes in hemp have been lacking so far. This study contributes to the understanding of the influences of evaporation of intercepted water [...] Read more.
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a high-yielding multi-purpose crop, but its hydrological functioning is poorly understood. Studies on the interception processes in hemp have been lacking so far. This study contributes to the understanding of the influences of evaporation of intercepted water and other hydrological fluxes within plants of two cultivars, “Santhica 27” and “Ivory”, on the water productivity. To determine water productivity and evaporation from interception, field measurements were conducted on plants of both cultivars at different stages of development. Precipitation (P), throughfall (TF), transpiration (T), and volumetric water content (VWC) were measured along with leaf area index (LAI) and yield of selected plant components. For the entire vegetation period, the cumulative P of 44 mm was converted into 13 mm TF (30%). The inferred evaporation of intercepted water (I) was high at 31 mm (71%). For the assessment water fluxes, the evaporation of intercepted water must be considered in the decision-making process. Besides the LAI, the plant architecture and the meteorological conditions during the cropping cycle seem to be the main factors determining I in the case of plants of both cultivars. Water productivity (WPDM) of the whole plant varied between 3.07 kg m−3 for Ivory and 3.49 for Santhica 27. In the case of bast yield, WPDM was 0.39 kg m-3 for Santhica 27 and 0.45 kg m−3 for Ivory. After the propagation of the uncertainties, the bandwidth of the WPDM of the whole plant was between 0.42 kg m−3 and 2.57 kg m−3. For bast fiber a bandwidth of the WP between 0.06 kg m−3 and 0.33 kg m−3 was calculated. The results show furthermore that even with a precise examination of water productivity, a high bandwidth of local values is revealed on different cultivars. However, generic WP values for fiber crops are not attainable. Full article
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13 pages, 1208 KiB  
Article
Effects of Waterlogging, Drought and Their Combination on Yield and Water-Use Efficiency of Five Hungarian Winter Wheat Varieties
by Zsuzsanna Farkas, Emese Varga-László, Angéla Anda, Ottó Veisz and Balázs Varga
Water 2020, 12(5), 1318; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051318 - 7 May 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2869
Abstract
The effects of simulated waterlogging, drought stress and their combination were examined in a model experiment in Martonvásár, Hungary, in 2018. Four modern winter wheat varieties (‘Mv Toborzó’ (TOB), ‘Mv Mambó’ (MAM), ‘Mv Karizma’ (KAR), ‘Mv Pálma’ (PAL)) and one old Hungarian winter [...] Read more.
The effects of simulated waterlogging, drought stress and their combination were examined in a model experiment in Martonvásár, Hungary, in 2018. Four modern winter wheat varieties (‘Mv Toborzó’ (TOB), ‘Mv Mambó’ (MAM), ‘Mv Karizma’ (KAR), ‘Mv Pálma’ (PAL)) and one old Hungarian winter wheat cultivar (‘Bánkúti 1201’ (BKT)) were tested. Apart from the control treatment (C), the plants were exposed to two different abiotic stresses. To simulate waterlogging (WL), plants were flooded at four leaf stage, while in the WL + D treatment, they were stressed both by waterlogging and by simulated drought stress at the early stage of plant development and at the heading stage, respectively. The waterlogging treatment resulted in a significant decrease in plant biomass (BKT, TOB), number of spikes (TOB), grain yield (BKT, TOB), water use (BTK) and water-use efficiency (TOB, MAM, PAL) compared to the controls. The combined treatment (WL + D) led to a significant decrease in plant height (BTK, MAM, KAR), number of spikes (BTK, TOB, MAM, KAR), thousand kernel weight (TOB), harvest index (BTK), biomass, grain yield, water-use efficiency (in all varieties) and water use (BKT, TOB, MAM, KAR) of the plants. The best water-use efficiency was observed for MAM; therefore, this genotype could be recommended for cultivation at stress prone areas. The varieties MAM, KAR and PAL also showed good adaptability. Full article
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