Soil temperature, growth and yield of maize (Zea mays L.) as affected by wheat straw mulch

Sidhu, A.S. and Sekhon, N.K. and Thind, S.S. and Hira, G.S. (2007) Soil temperature, growth and yield of maize (Zea mays L.) as affected by wheat straw mulch. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science , 53 (1). pp. 95-102.

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Maize crop is grown mostly in tropical/subtropical environments where drought adversely affects its production. A field experiment was conducted on sandy loam soil for four years (1999 – 2002) to study the effect of wheat straw mulch (0 and 6 t ha−1) and planting methods (flat and channel) on maize sown on different dates. Maximum soil temperature without mulch ranged from 32.2 – 44.4°C in channel and 31.6 – 46.4°C in flat planting method. Mulching, however, lowered soil temperature by 0.8 – 7.0°C in channel and 0 – 9.8°C in flat planting. Mulching, on an average, improved leaf area index by 0.42, plant height by 14 cm, grain yield by 0.24 t ha−1 and biomass by 1.57 t ha−1, respectively. Mulching improved grain yield only in flat sowing. Interaction between sowing date and planting method was significant. Seasonal variation in biomass were significantly correlated (p = 0.05) with mean air temperature during 0 – 45 days after planting (DAP) (r = −0.95), pan evaporation during 0 – 15 DAP (r = 0.79) and negative correlation with rainfall in entire cropping season (r = −0.89), whereas biomass increase with mulch in different cropping seasons had negative relation (r = −0.74) with amount of rain during 0 – 15 DAP.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wheat straw mulch, soil temperature, maize, yield, plant height, leaf area index, weather parameters
Author Affiliation: a Department of Soils, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India
Subjects: Plant Production
Soil Science and Microbiology
Divisions: Maize
Depositing User: Mr. SanatKumar Behera
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2012 13:19
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2012 13:20
Official URL:

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