Response to fertilizer nitrogen and water of post-rainy season sorghum on a vertisol. 2. Biomass and water extraction

Singh, Piara and Monteith, J.L. and Lee, K.K. and Rego, T.J. and Wani, S.P. (1998) Response to fertilizer nitrogen and water of post-rainy season sorghum on a vertisol. 2. Biomass and water extraction. Journal of Agricultural Science , 131 (4). pp. 429-438.

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During rainless weather following a monsoon, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor cv. SPH-280) was grown on a Vertisol at ICRISAT Centre either unirrigated throughout growth or irrigated for 7 weeks after emergence and rainfed thereafter. Before sowing, ammonium sulphate was applied at six rates from 0 to 150 kg/ha N. Roots were sampled every 2 weeks to determine biomass and root length density as a function of depth. Every week, soil water content in all treatments was measured gravimetrically to a depth of 0.23 m and with a neutron probe from 0.3 to 1.5 m. Below 0.45 m, volumetric water content was a negative exponential function of time after roots arrived and the maximum depth of extraction moved downwards at 2-5 cm per day. In the dry treatment, the extraction 'front' lagged behind the deepest roots by c. 12 days initially but the two fronts eventually converged. Irrigation delayed the descent of the extraction front by c. 20 days but thereafter it appeared to descend faster than without irrigation. Averaged over N rates, the time constant of the exponential function was inversely related to the root length density, lv, decreasing with depth from about 20 to 10 days as lv increased from 2.5 to 4.0 km/m³. The biomass:water ratio was almost independent of N but increased from a mean of 5.3 g dry matter per kg water in the dry treatments to 6.9 g/kg with irrigation. When normalized by the seasonal mean difference in vapour pressure deficit within irrigated and unirrigated plots, the ratios were 13.1 and 13.3 kPa g per kg water, respectively

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru PO, Andhra Pradesh 502324, India.
Subjects: Plant Protection > Pesticides
Divisions: Sorghum
Depositing User: Mr B Krishnamurthy
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2010 14:34
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2011 19:30
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