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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 6, p. 785-790
    Received: Apr 20, 1970

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Effect of Mulches and Bed Configuration. II. Soil Temperature and Growth and Yield Responses of Grain Sorghum and Corn1

  1. John E. Adams2



Clear plastic film and petroleum mulch were used on Austin clay and Houston Black clay to evaluate their effects on soil temperature and on the growth, development, and yield responses of corn (Zea mays L.) and grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench). Three bed configurations also were used in conjunction with the mulches with grain sorghum.

Mulches had a highly significant effect on average soil temperature at 7.6 cm below the surface. Soil temperature under clear plastic film 3 weeks after planting had increased 2.6, 2.2, and 1.8C at depths of 30, 61, and 91 cm, respectively.

Mulches increased the rate of growth of both corn and grain sorghum significantly (5% level) and also affected morphological development, with clear plastic having the most effect. Bed configuration had a significant effect on sorghum growth when used with mulches. Clear plastic mulch accelerated growth and morphological development sufficiently to cause 50% bloom to occur 8 to 10 days earlier for both corn and grain sorghum.

Clear plastic mulch increased grain sorghum yield significantly, but mulches had no significant effect on corn yield. Bed configuration caused a significant increase in grain sorghum yield in 1964 but had no important effect on yield in 1963.

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