Wheat Straw Decomposition in the Field1
- J. H. Smith and
- C. L. Douglas2
Wheat (Triticum aestivum) varieties ‘Nugaines’ and ‘Lemhi’ were grown on Portneuf silt loam soil with three nitrogen and three irrigation treatments in 1967. After harvest, 84 kg N/ha was applied to half of each plot before plowing. Uniform straw samples were enclosed in fiberglass cloth bags and buried in the plots September 7. The straw placed in N-treated plots received sufficient N in solution to increase the straw N from about 0.29 to 1.5%. Straw samples were recovered November 15, after the soil had cooled below 4C, and at three later sampling dates to October 3, 1968, after a bean crop (Phaseolus spp.) was harvested. Weight loss and total N were determined on all samplings and total C on the first sampling. Decomposition was greater with N than without it for the November sampling and the March sampling for Nugaines but not at other samplings for both varieties. The weight of N in both N-treated straw varieties decreased 55% by November 15, while in the non-N-treated Nugaines and Lemhi straw, N weight increased 12 and 32%, respectively, by March 22. Later, N moved out of all the straw samples when the N percentages were much lower than the theoretical equilibrium value.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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