Waterlogging Effects on Growth and Yield Components in Late-Planted Soybean
- Geoffrey Linkemer,
- James E. Board and
- Mary E. Musgrave
A major agronomic problem in the southeastern USA is low yield of late-planted soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. This problem is aggravated by the adverse effect of waterlogging on crop growth. Our objectives were to identify soybean growth stages sensitive to waterlogging; identify yield components and physiological parameters explaining yield losses induced by waterlogging; and determine the extent of yield losses induced by waterlogging under natural field conditions. Greenhouse and field studies were conducted during 1993 and 1994 near Baton Rouge, LA, (30°N Lat) on a Commerce silt loam. Waterlogging tolerance was assessed in cultivar Centennial (Maturity Group VI) at three vegetative and five reproductive growth stages by maintaining the water level at the soil surface in a greenhouse study. Using the same cultivar, we evaluated the effect of drainage in the field for late-planted soybean. Rain episodes determined the timing of waterlogging; redox potential and oxygen concentration of the soil were used to quantify the intensity of waterlogging stress. Results of the greenhouse study indicated that the early vegetative period (V2) and the early reproductive stages (R1, R3, and R5) were most sensitive to waterlogging. Three to 5 cm of rain per day falling on poorly drained soil was sufficient to reduce crop growth rate, resulting in a yield decline from 2453 to 1550 kg ha −1. Yield loss in both field and greenhouse studies was induced primarily by decreased pod production resulting from fewer pods per reproductive node. In conclusion, waterlogging was determined to be an important stress for late-planted soybean in high rainfall areas such as the Gulf Coast Region.
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