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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 6, p. 974-980
     
    Received: Apr 23, 1971
    Accepted: June 1, 1971


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1971.03615995003500060034x

Corn (Zea mays L.) Root Configuration as Influenced by Some Row-Interrow Variants of Tillage and Straw Mulch Management1

  1. R. R. Allmaras and
  2. W. W. Nelson2

Abstract

Abstract

Combinations of tillage and straw mulch strips produced various patterns of horizontally nonuniform matric suction and temperature under the row vs. the interrow. These nonuniformities were observed to soil depths ≥ 45 cm. Straw mulch strips decreased the average soil temperature and matric suction. A spring-plow interrow decreased the average soil temperature compared to no tillage, but the effect on matric suction depended on the initial soil water.

Root dry weight and configuration were changed by tillage and straw mulch treatments, but the same treatments produced different root growth in 2 years of study. Straw mulch strips between rows increased root weight and lateral proliferation in the year of higher average soil temperature and matric suction, but decreased them in the year of lower soil temperature and matric suction. Straw mulch strips over the row decreased root and shoot dry weight, decreased lateral proliferation in the year of higher temperatures and matric suctions, and increased lateral proliferation in the year of lower temperatures and matric suctions. Compared to no tillage, a spring-plow interrow reduced lateral proliferation at depths less than 20 cm.

Early shoot growth and subsequent grain yield were greatest on treatments producing greater lateral proliferation at shallow depths early in the season.

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