Increased yield potential of wheat-maize cropping system in the North China Plain by climate change adaptation
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- Wang, J., Wang, E., Yang, X. et al. Climatic Change (2012) 113: 825. doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0385-1
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In the North China Plain, the grain yield of irrigated wheat-maize cropping system has been steadily increasing in the past decades under a significant warming climate. This paper combined regional and field data with modeling to analyze the changes in the climate in the last 40 years, and to investigate the influence of changes in crop varieties and management options to crop yield. In particular, we examined the impact of a planned adaptation strategy to climate change -“Double-Delay” technology, i.e., delay both the sowing time of wheat and the harvesting time of maize, on both wheat and maize yield. The results show that improved crop varieties and management options not only compensated some negative impact of reduced crop growth period on crop yield due to the increase in temperature, they have contributed significantly to crop yield increase. The increase in temperature before over-wintering stage enabled late sowing of winter wheat and late harvesting of maize, leading to overall 4–6% increase in total grain yield of the wheat-maize system. Increased use of farming machines and minimum tillage technology also shortened the time for field preparation from harvest time of summer maize to sowing time of winter wheat, which facilitated the later harvest of summer maize.