Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Monograph Series
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Peterson, G.A., Unger, P.W., Payne, B.A., Anderson, R.L., Baumhardt, R.L. 2006. Dryland agriculture research issues. American Society of Agronomy Monograph Series. 23:901-907. Interpretive Summary: Cropping systems in the dryland regions of the world are changing. Maintaining crop residues on the soil surface and replacing tillage with herbicides have provided producers with greater cropping potential. In several regions of the world, no-till, residue-based cropping systems have increased land productivity close to two-fold. The American Society of Agronomy is publishing a monograph that summarizes the changes and research needs of dryland agriculture across the world. In this chapter, we describe common management issues and problems facing producers in all regions of the world. We encourage producers and scientists to consider a broader perspective when devising research programs to address these management themes. A systems perspective can provide more opportunities for developing sustainable cropping systems, not only for increased crop productivity but also for regenerating the world's soil resource.
Technical Abstract: Dryland agriculture is rapidly changing throughout the world. A key aspect of this change is preserving crop residues on the soil surface. This practice improves water relations such that producers can diversify their cropping systems to increase productivity. The American Society of Agronomy is publishing a monograph that summarizes the changes and research needs of dryland agriculture across the world. Common management issues of regions of the world were identified by various authors. This chapter collates these concerns and identifies themes that apply globally. Issues include weather variability, tillage, erosion, and soil fertility and organic matter relationships. Because of the complexities of problems facing dryland producers, we encourage scientists to pursue a holistic, systems approach to seek new solutions and devise sustainable production systems.