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To enhance food production, wheat–maize inter-planting is widely adopted by farmers in the middle stream of the Heihe River basin (Li & Zhao 2004; Knörzer et al. 2009). Spring wheat is generally sown in the middle of March and harvested in the middle of July. Maize is normally seeded at the end of May and is harvested at the end of October (Wu et al. 2006; Wang et al. 2012). Thus, the crop is divided into two inter-planting types (wheat–maize) in the basin, one of which is mainly cultivated at the low latitudes (crop type 1) and another one which is mainly planted at the high latitudes (crop type 2). The total growing season of crop type 1 is approximately 205 days and that of crop type 2 approximately 212 days. Table 6 provides the growth days of four stages of the two wheat–maize inter-planting types. The value of Kc for different crop types at the four growth stages was adopted by referencing the results of the previous field studies (Zhao et al. 2005; Chen & Wu 2010; Zheng et al. 2010). Kc increases at the development and mid-season stages and then decreases at harvest.

Table 6

Parameters of the two crop types

Crop typeGrowth days (day)Seeding day (day)Initial stage (day)/KcDevelopment stage (day)/KcMid-season stage (day)/KcLate-season stage (day)/Kc
205 75 30 80 60 35 
0.4 1.1 0.6 0.3 
212 85 36 60 81 35 
0.5 0.7 1.2 0.4 
Crop typeGrowth days (day)Seeding day (day)Initial stage (day)/KcDevelopment stage (day)/KcMid-season stage (day)/KcLate-season stage (day)/Kc
205 75 30 80 60 35 
0.4 1.1 0.6 0.3 
212 85 36 60 81 35 
0.5 0.7 1.2 0.4 

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