Effect of Subsoiling a Compacted Clay Loam Soil on Growth, Yield, and Yield Components of Wheat1
- Mohamed Oussible and
- R. Kent Crookston2
Over the past three decades, soil compaction, especially of subsurface horizons, has become a serious problem in irrigated areas of Morocco. This study was designed to determine if subsurface compaction of a clay loam soil in Morocco could be effectively alleviated by subsoiling—to the extent that grain yields of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) would be improved. A second objective was to document the nature of any resulting yield improvement in terms of changes in root and shoot growth, as well as in the standard components of grain yield. Field experiments were conducted in 1983 and 1984. A single-tooth subsoiler was pulled through the soil at 0.4-m intervals, to a depth of 0.7 m. Within the zone through which the tooth passed, soil bulk density was reduced by ll%, while soil porosity and air-filled porosity were increased by 17 and 50%, respectively. Soil mechanical resistance of subsoiled plots was decreased by 19 to 33% at the 0.2- to 0.35-m depth. At this same depth, roots were 54% longer per unit weight in subsoiled plots. Throughout the growing season, plants grown on subsoiled plots were consistently and significantly taller. These taller plants had more reproductive shoots, each with more and larger kernels. This resulted in an average yield increase of 48% for grain, and 28% for straw.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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