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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Moisture Utilization by Several Forage Crops1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 20 No. 1, p. 126-128
    Received: Nov 6, 1954

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  1. N. A. Willits and
  2. A. E. Erickson2



During the growing seasons 1951–53, the moisture used by 2 grasses and 2 legumes was determined by use of Bouyoucos blocks. Stage of crop development had more effect than weather on water use. Water use appeared to reach a maximum around July 1. The peak water use per day was 0.13 inches. The average was considerably less.

Most of the water used from the profile by all crops was removed from the surface 9 inches (the depth of the Ap layer). Very few grass roots extended below 30 inches. The consumptive use of water under fescue sod was less than under bluegrass. Frequent clipping of the grasses resulted in less total water use but a greater percentage use from the surface layer.

There was a very good correlation between the amount of water used from a horizon during a drying-out period and the amount present in the horizon at the beginning of that period. The correlation decreased with depth. It appears that the water was removed from the horizon where it was most abundant.

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