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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 6, p. 786-788
    Accepted: Aug 19, 1966

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Effect of Surface-Applied Wheat Straw on Soil Water Losses by Solar Distillation1

  1. 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.

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