Corn Yield and Nutrient Uptake as Affected by Water-Table Depth and Soil Submergence1
- T. N. Chaudhary,
- V. K. Bhatnagar and
- S. S. Prihar2
Crops are affected by fluctuations in the water table by seasonal rainfall and soil submergence during growth. A better understanding of their response will help us to optimize drainage and irrigation. Response of irrigated corn to (i) four static water-table depths (60, 90, 120, and 150 cm) as affected by the growing-season rainfall and (ii) single or repeated submergence for 1 to 6 days was studied in 58 cm diam by 183-cm long metal barrels using silt loam soil during 1971 and 1972.
Crop response to water-table depths varied with rainfall during growth. In a wet year, water table at the 120 cm depth gave the highest and that at the 60 cm depth the lowest yield. In a relatively dry year, yield was highest with water tables at 60 and 90 cm depths and decreased with deeper water tables." It is indicated that a water table at 120 cm depth is desirable for corn. A multiple regression equation indicated that soil water depletion from the upper 30 cm before irrigation, ground water contribution, and oxygen diffusion rate at 15 cm depth accounted for 79% of the variation in yields across water tables. In both years, N, P, and K concentrations in grain and stover were not significantly affected by water table treatments.
Grain yields were reduced significantly by submergence exceeding 1 day. For comparable durations, yield reductions were smaller for single than repeated submergence. Submergence during early growth was more harmful than during late growth. Prolonged soil submergence significantly reduced N, P, and K concentrations in the grain. For optimum corn production it is necessary to drain excess water from the root zone within 1 day of soil submergence.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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