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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Soil Structural Stability of Brookston Clay as a Factor in Sugar Beet Yields1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 17 No. 2, p. 159-164
    Received: Dec 3, 1952

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  1. Paul J. Zwerman,
  2. J. B. Page and
  3. R. E. Yoder2



The purpose of this research was to determine the influence of the structural stability of soil upon the yield of sugar beets.

Structural units of soil between one-eighth inch and one-fourth inch were used in 20 small plots. The main comparison made was of highly stable structure (12% organic matter) against highly unstable structure (5% organic matter). The top soil (10 inches) of each of 10 of these plots was made up of stable soil structure. The other 10 plots were made up of unstable structure. Five rainfall conditions were studied: frequent half-inch, no rain, natural rain for 1947, 4 inches per week, and rain similar to 1942. There were 16 harvested beets on each plot or 64 per rainfall condition. Film-glass cloth houses used to protect the soil from natural rainfall transmitted only one-half of the sunlight. Apparently this light factor was responsible for the highest beet yield under natural rain and sunlight.

There were no differences in yield associated with soil structural differences except in the case of 4 inches rain per week. This difference was significant. Differences in yield as affected by rainfall were significant for all comparisons except “ideal” rain and 1942 rain.

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