Submitted to: Australian Agronomy Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Increasing concerns about nonpoint source pollution and the role of agricultural practices on the loss of nutrients has renewed interest in agronomic management. The balance between economic and production efficiency and environmental quality can be addressed from an understanding of the linkages between the soil resource and the agronomic system. The interrelationships among water, nitrogen, and radiation capture efficiency provide a framework for the evaluation of agronomic systems. Previous approaches have used one of these measures individually; however, crop production is an integration of these three components. There is a large variation among these components across a field and across regions. Studies in central Iowa have shown that it is possible to increase nitrogen, water, and radiation capture efficiency by 20-30% above current levels. Development of agronomic systems that are based on efficiency rather than production will increase the sustainability of production systems.