Effect of Coal Mulch on Crop Yields

Fairbourn, M.L. (1974) Effect of Coal Mulch on Crop Yields. Agronomy Journal, 66 (6). pp. 785-789.

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A study was conducted at the Colorado State University Agronomy Research Center, Fort Collins, Colorado to determine if a mulch of 1.0- to 3.0-cm diameter coal pieces would reduce evaporation of soil water and increase soil temperature. Treatments of coal mulch and bare soil were used in both laboratory and field experiments to determine not only the effects on soil water and soil temperature, but also soil fertility and light regime for plants. The coal pieces broke down rapidly and became integrated with the surface soil. The experimental methods showed that the coal mulch effects on soil fertility and light regime were negligible. However, the mulch did increase soil water storage compared with a bare soil. The response appeared to be due to a change in soil porosity of the surface, wetting depth, and soil cracking. Increased soil temperature seemed to be the dominant factor that caused a prominent plant response from a coal mulch. Plants on the coal mulch plots became established rapidly, grew vigorously, and matured early which resulted in higher yields than those from a bare soil treatment. The experiment indicated that low grade coals, soft coals, or coal-soil mixtures can be used to increase production from agricultural and horticultural plants

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soil water storage, Soil temperature, Reflected light, Corn, Sorghum, Soybeans, Sugarbeets
Author Affiliation: Soil Scientist, USDA, Cheyenne, Wyoming (formerly Fort Collins, Colorado)
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Divisions: Maize
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2012 03:34
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2012 03:34
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj1974.0002196200660...
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/2949

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