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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 73 No. 4, p. 625-628
    Received: Aug 20, 1980

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Influence of Windbreak-shelter on Soybean Production under Rainfed Conditions1

  1. S. N. Ogbuehi and
  2. J. R. Brandle2



Research indicates that a combination of windbreak and irrigation gives significant soybean yield increases in comparison to an irrigated open field. Little data is available to determine the yield advantage of soybean production under sheltered and rainfed conditions. The field study reported here was conducted at the University of Nebraska Field Laboratory, Mead, Nebraska, during 1978 and 1979 growing seasons to determine the influence of windbreak-shelter on soil water content and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] yield under rainfed conditions. Shelter from wind was provided by a system of east-west oriented shelterbelts, 6 m high, 60% dense, and consisting of green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica L.), Austrian pine (Pinus nigra Arnold), and eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.). The prevailing winds in Nebraska during the summer months come mainly from the south. The soil was a Typic Argiudoll.

There were no statistically significant differences (P = 0.05) between treatments in available soil water and plant water use. In spite of this, sheltered soybeans had higher leaf water potential and stomatal conductance, and lower leaf temperature. These differences between treatments were attributable, entirely, to shelter-induced modification of the growing season microclimate. Leaf area index, dry matter production, and bean yield were significantly increased in shelter during both years. Bean yield in shelter was 20 and 26% higher than in exposed plots in 1978 and 1979, respectively. Bean production per ha-cm of water used in 1979 was 58 kg for sheltered soybeans and 47 kg for those in exposed plots

Results of this study indicated that under rainfed conditions, increased water-use efficiency, and significant increases in bean yield can be expected from sheltered soybeans.

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