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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Wind Erosion as Influenced by Row Spacing, Row Direction, and Grain Sorghum Population1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 4, p. 505-509
    Received: Jan 10, 1966
    Accepted: Apr 6, 1966

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  1. E. L. Skidmore,
  2. N. L. Nossaman and
  3. N. P. Woodruff2



Replicated plots of grain sorghum (Sorghum vulgare) with 21- and 42-inch row spacings and three plant spacings within each row spacing were established on Dalhart sandy loam in 1963 and yield data were obtained. In March 1964, four wind tunnel tests were conducted one ach plot, two with wind blowing parallel to row direction and two perpendicular. Sorghum stubble residue was sampled and analyzed The results were interpreted in terms of natural wind conditions for sample locations in the Great Plains by applying previously developed procedures to determine prevailing wind erosion direction and preponderance of wind erosion forces in the prevailing wind erosion direction.

Soil loss was reduced by narrow row spacing, high plant population, and rows perpendicular to wind direction. Nearly three times as much erosion occurred with wind blowing parallel as perpendicular to row direction.

The combined advantage of narrow row spacing (21-inch) and rows perpendicular to prevailing wind erosion direction reduced soil loss from 29 to 55%. Greater reductions result when a larger proportion of wind erosion forces occur in the prevailing wind erosion direction.

Plant residue and grain yield increased significantly with higher plant population. Grain yield was not significantly affected by row spacing.

Based on the results of this study and for similar conditions, for decreased wind erosion and maintenance of grain yields one should (i) plant high plant populations within the recommended range, (ii) plant in narrow row spacings, and (iii) where field layout permits, plant perpendicular to prevailing wind erosion direction.

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