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Dryland areas occur widely in all countries of the world. Thirty - eight percent of the world's land surface is classified as semi-arid or dry subhumid. The growing of crops in such regions is ofter referred to as dryland agriculture. The challenges of crop production in dryland areas are far greater than those in the more favored climatic regions. Dryland agriculture is sometimes used synonymously with rainfed agriculture, but the only commonality is that there is no irrigation. In reality, dryland agriculture is a subset of rainfed agriculture.
This book is divided into five parts. The first part (Chapters 1- 6) describes the climate, topography, vegetation, and soils of Chinese drylands. The second part (Chapters 7 - 9) discusses the major natural constraints including lack of water as well as wind and water erosion. Nutrient management and water management are covered in the third part (Chapters 10 -12) and the fourth part (Chapters 13 - 16). The final part (Chapters 17 - 22) looks at farming systems that involves crop selection, methods for planting, crop resistance to drought and controlling pests.