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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 49 No. 3, p. 728-733
    Received: July 2, 1984



Chemical and Stubble-Mulch Fallow Influences on Seasonal Soil Water Contents1

  1. D. L. Tanaka2



A study was conducted in the northern Great Plains to determine the effect of chemical and stubble-mulch fallow of a Williams loam (fine-loamy mixed, Typic Argiborolls) on soil water contents during 14-and 21-month fallow periods. Soil water contents to a depth of 1.70 m were measured by use of the neutron-scatter technique for two 14-and three 21-month fallow periods. The amount of surface residue after harvest ranged from 0.6 to 3.6 Mg/ha during the study. Chemical fallow maintained more surface residue than stubble-mulch fallow, but no significant differences in soil water contents to 1.70-m soil depth occurred between the treatments. Gain in soil water occurred after harvest and over the first winter with soil water loss generally occurring during summer for 14- and 21-months of fallow. No gain in soil water contents occurred over the second winter when chemically fallowed for 21-months. Precipitation frequency and distribution may be just as important as quantity and position of surface residue for chemical fallow to effectively store more soil water than stubble-mulch fallow.

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