Soil Moisture Conservation and Yield of Crops No-Till Planted in Rye1
- Raymond N. Gallaher2
This experiment was conducted to evaluate soil water use by no-till planted corn (Zea mays L.) and soybeans (Glycine max (L) Merrill) in rye (Secale cereale (L)) mulch (RM) vs. rye stubble (RS) where rye was removed. Soil water was measured throughout the summer months at 15 and 46 cm depths using electrical resistance gypsum blocks. Soil water curves showed that corn and soybeans went through three periods of severe moisture stress, which at times lasted as long as 2 weeks. Crops planted into killed RM, conserved soil water, were more drought tolerant, and showed evidence of greater use and earlier depletion of water by roots deep in the soil profile as compared to RS treatments. Corn grain and soybean yields were 45.6 and 30.3% greater, respectively from the RM as compared to the RS treatment. These data show the tremendous potential for increasing corn and soybean yields under no-till mulch planting management.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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