Water Resources Research Center, University of Minnesota
Newsletter or Bulletin
Incomplete soil water recharge between growing seasons and insufficient
growing-season precipitation limit plant growth in southwestern
Minnesota. Field experiments were conducted from 1979-81 on a Nicollet
clay loam soil (Aquic Hapludoll) to determine the effects of midseason
soil water recharge on corn (Zea mays L.) production. Six treatments
consisting of timing and amount variables of supplemental water addition
were studied. "Daily precipitation and air- temperatures were measured.
Soil water contents and potentials were measured with a neutron probe
and tensiometers, respectively.
Progressive developmnent of soil water deficiencies occurred during
the three-year study. Following a wet year in 1979, a shallow-receding
water table was present during the 1980 growing season. Extensive soil
water depletion to 90 cm occurred in both 1980 and 81, the water table
could not be detected within 200 cm of the soil surface in 1981. Despite
these diverse conditions, positive and significant grain yield responses
to the addition of supplemental water were observed in each year of the
study. Grain yield resulting from the midseason application of 7.6 cm of
water exceeded grain yield with natural precipitation by 1808, 2130, and
IB47 kg/ha tn 1979, 80, and 81, respectively. Grain production was
enhanced as effectively by single-midseason applications of 7.6 cm of
water as by "optimum irrigation" (application of 3.8 cm at 50 percent
depletion of plant-available water to a soil depth of 90 cm).
In the presence of a receding water table (1980), 90 percent of the
grain yield variability and 92 percent of the variability in total dry matter-production (TMDP) was accounted for by the amount of supplemental
water added and early-season water table depth. Response to the addition
of supplemental water diminished with decreasing early-season water table
Blake, George R. Johnson, Bradley S. Nelson, Wallace W. 1983. Midseason Soil Water Recharge for Corn in the Northwestern Corn Belt. Water Resources Research Center.
Water Resources Research Center
Blake, George R.; Johnson, Bradley S.; Nelson, Wallace W..
Midseason Soil Water Recharge for Corn in the Northwestern Corn Belt.
Water Resources Research Center, University of Minnesota.
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