Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 14, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Contracting soil types that occur within a farming unit present a management challenge to producers. We conducted a study to determine the influence of contrasting soil types on short season corn (Zea mays L.) water use and yield. In 1994, 1995, and 1996, corn was grown in 0.75-m spaced rows with 4 plants (pl) m**2 (1994, 1995) and 5.3 pl m**2 (1996) at Bushland, TX, in lysimeters containing monolithic soil cores of silty clay loam, silt loam, and fine sandy loam that were located at a rain shelter facility. In 1994, the soils were initially at field capacity and irrigation treatments of 90 to 40% of normal rainfall (200 mm) for the growing season were added. In 1995, the soils contained about 280 mm plant available water (PAW) at planting, and received irrigation treatments of 100 or 60% of normal rainfall. In 1996, the soils initially contained about 250 mm PAW, and received weekly irrigation applications of 110, 80, 50, and 20% replacement of evapotranspiration (ET). The crops in the silt loam produced significantly higher ET, grain yields, total biomass, and seed number in all three years compared with the crops in the two other soil types, for which yields were similar. The soil type/irrigation treatment interaction was significant for ET in 1996, because the crop in the clay loam extracted significantly less water from the lower soil profile under reduced irrigation compared with the other two soils. Even under well-watered conditions, the sandy loam produced a 10% lower leaf area index compared with the two other soils. Soil type affected both water use and yield of short season corn.