Influence of Straw Mulch on Soil Moisture, Soil Temperature and the Growth of Corn1
- J. E. Moody,
- J. N. Jones and
- J. H. Lillard2
In a 3-year study, corn was grown on plots treated with 3 tons of wheat straw per acre, either placed on the surface or plowed under, and with two rates of N. Soil temperature, soil moisture, plant height and weight, N and K content of the plant and yields were obtained. Soil temperature at the 4-inch depth was lower throughout the growing season under mulch conditions. The low temperature under mulch was associated with a temporary depression of growth during the early growing season. A significant increase in growth of mulched over unmulched corn, beginning in late June, was attributed to the greater moisture under mulch during the period of high plant requirements. Mulched corn was 64 cm. taller at tasseling and produced 42 bushels per acre more grain than corn which had the straw plowed down. Runoff was seven times greater from the unmulched plots.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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