Effect of Surface-Applied Wheat Straw on Soil Water Losses by Solar Distillation1
- B. W. Greb2
Soil surface application of 1,120, 2,240, and 3,360 kg/ha of wheat straw (Triticum aestivium L,), equivalent to 30, 60, and 90% soil surface coverage, reduced water losses from a wet soil surface by solar distillation 16, 33, and 49%, respectively, for a 20-day period compared with no straw. A surface application of 6,720 kg/ha, or 180% soil coverage, reduced soil water loss only slightly more than did the 3,360 kg/ha application. Water losses and effectiveness of straw tended to diminish with time as soil water was depleted. The presence of clear plastic canopy increased daily soil temperature maximums at 2.5-cm depth by approximately 11.5F. Maximum daily soil temperatures, both with and without plastic, were reduced nearly 3 F/1,120 kg per ha of added straw. The results suggest part of the mechanism by which more soil water is conserved under stubble mulch summer fallow than with clean fallow.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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