Influence of Soil Texture and Rainfall on the Response of Cotton to Moisture Regime1
- C. J. Gerard and
- L. N. Namken2
Irrigation studies indicate that the water management requirement of cotton is dependent upon soil texture and related rooting characteristics of the plants. Cotton on medium-textured soils develops an extensive root system which is able to extract water to depths of 4 to 5 feet (2). Moisture depletion patterns on fine-textured soils indicate that soil moisture extraction is largely restricted to the surface 2 feet.
Cotton on the medium-textured soils needs only 1 or 2 irrigations, depending on rainfall, to produce satisfactory yields. Cotton on the fine-textured soils should be irrigated every 10 to 15 days, with the first irrigation applied at the first bloom; 4 to 6 light irrigations during blooming and fruiting period are required to produce satisfactory yields.
Summer rainfall often supplies sufficient water to produce 80 to 90% of the yield potential on medium-textured soils but only 50% of yield potential on fine-textured soils. Lack of sufficient absorbing roots prevents cotton from extracting sufficient water during peak demand period from depths below its primary root zone (0 to 3 feet) on medium-textured soil. Extraction water from below its primary root zone (top foot) insufficient to prevent reduction in growth and yield of cotton grown on fine-textured soil.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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