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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Moisture Storage and Spring Wheat Yields on Level-Bench Terraces as Influenced by Contributing Area Cover and Evaporation Control1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 3, p. 297-299
    Received: Oct 25, 1965

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  1. H. J. Haas,
  2. W. O. Willis and
  3. G. O. Boatwright2



Level-bench terraces on land with 5 to 9% slope increased water storage and wheat yields as shown in a study conducted from 1959 through 1962. Various types of contributing areas were used. Runoff from wheat or grass contributing areas had minor influence on moisture storage and yields on the bench. An impervious contributing area increased moisture storage on the bench by 1.3 inches and wheat yields by 4.7 bushels per acre. Deep percolation near the base of the impervious slope caused some nutrient leaching and moisture loss. Partial evaporation control (32-inch wide plastic film strips covering 90% of minor ridges on the bench) from harvest to seeding increased moisture storage by 1.4 inches and wheat yields by 3 bushels per acre.

Results indicate possible methods of conserving precipitation normally lost, particularly during the dormant or winter period. Principal advantages of level-bench terraces appear to be collecting snow, preventing runoff of snow-melt and torrential-type rains, reducing erosion, and increasing yields through moisture conservation.

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