Yield of Dryland Grain Sorghum as Affected by Antitranspirant, Nitrogen, and Contributing Micro-watershed1
- H. D. Fuehring2
In the semi-arid Great Plains yields of grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] are almost always limited by lack of rainfall or soil moisture during some part of the growing season. The purpose of this study was to determine if minimal land shaping practices in combination with antitranspirant application would increase yield levels of dryland grain sorghum.
Variables were width of watershed, width of growing bed, applied N, and foliarly applied antitranspirant combined in a central composite experimental design. Use of contoured, compacted bare micro-watersheds increased grain sorghum yields of adjacent growing beds considerably even in two relatively wet years. However, yields of the entire area (growing bed plus watershed) decreased. Atrazine (2-chloro-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-s-triazine) as an antitranspirant at 0.2 to 0.3 kg/ha effectively increased sorghum grain yields under conditions of solid planting and adequate nitrogen. The antitranspirant-nitrogen interaction was especially positive under conditions of moisture stress.
Since most grain sorghum is grown under conditions where moisture stress is likely, further work on the use of antitranspirants is warranted in order to establish the conditions of response.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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