Effect of mulching on soil and plant water status, and the growth and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in a semi-arid environment

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2008
Month Published: NA
Author: Chakraborty, Debashis ; Sarkar, A. ; Sahoo, R.N. ; Chopra, U.K. ; Kalra, N. ; Sarma, K.S. Sundara ; Aggarwal, Pramila ; Nagarajan, Shantha ; Gupta, V.K. ; Garg, R.N. ; Tomar, R.K.
Book Group Author: NA

Mulching is one of the important agronomic practices in conserving the soil moisture and modifying the soil physical environment. Wheat, the second most important cereal crop in India, is sensitive to soil moisture stress. Field experiments were conducted during winter seasons of 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 in a sandy loam soil to evaluate the soil and plant water status in wheat under synthetic (transparent and black polyethylene) and organic (rice husk) mulches with limited irrigation and compared with adequate irrigation with no mulch (conventional practices by the farmers). Though all the mulch treatments improved the soil moisture status, rice husk was found to be superior in maintaining optimum soil moisture condition for crop use. The residual soil moisture was also minimum, indicating effective utilization of moisture by the crop under RH. The plant water status, as evaluated by relative water content and leaf water potential were favourable under RH. Specific leaf weight, root length density and dry biomass were also greater in this treatment. Optimum soil and canopy thermal environment of wheat with limited fluctuations were observed under RH, even during dry periods. This produced comparable yield with less water use, enhancing the water use efficiency. Therefore, it may be concluded that under limited irrigation condition, RH mulching will be beneficial for wheat as it is able to maintain better soil and plant water status, leading to higher grain yield and enhanced water use efficiency.

Pages: 1323 - 1334
URL: http://0-search.ebscohost.com.catalog.library.colostate.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,url,cpid&custid=s4640792&db=agr&AN=IND44128528&site=ehost-live
Volume: 95
Number: 12
Journal: Agricultural water management
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 03783774

irrigated farming, roots, rice hulls, plastic film mulches,leaves, grain yield, soil water retention, biomass, water useefficiency, field experimentation, plant-water relations, plant growth,mulching, soil water content, crop yield, semiarid soils, water stress,Triticum aestivum, semiarid zones, India

Source: EBSCO
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