Next Article in Journal
Municipal Compost as a Nutrient Source for Organic Crop Production in New Zealand
Previous Article in Journal
Impact of Pre-Anthesis Water Deficit on Yield and Yield Components in Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Plants Grown under Controlled Conditions
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessCommunication
Agronomy 2016, 6(2), 34; doi:10.3390/agronomy6020034

Effect of Irrigation Timing on Root Zone Soil Temperature, Root Growth and Grain Yield and Chemical Composition in Corn

1
Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Uvalde, 1619 Garner Field Road, Uvalde, TX 78801, USA
2
Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Lubbock, 1102 East FM 1294, Lubbock, TX 79403, USA
3
College of Agronomy, Agricultural University of Hebei, 2596 Lekai South St., Baoding, Hebei Province 071000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ole Wendroth and Peter Langridge
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 2 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 19 May 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [783 KB, uploaded 19 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

High air temperatures during the crop growing season can reduce harvestable yields in major agronomic crops worldwide. Repeated and prolonged high night air temperature stress may compromise plant growth and yield. Crop varieties with improved heat tolerance traits as well as crop management strategies at the farm scale are thus needed for climate change mitigation. Crop yield is especially sensitive to night-time warming trends. Current studies are mostly directed to the elevated night-time air temperature and its impact on crop growth and yield, but less attention is given to the understanding of night-time soil temperature management. Delivering irrigation water through drip early evening may reduce soil temperature and thus improve plant growth. In addition, corn growers typically use high-stature varieties that inevitably incur excessive respiratory carbon loss from roots and transpiration water loss under high night temperature conditions. The main objective of this study was to see if root-zone soil temperature can be reduced through drip irrigation applied at night-time, vs. daytime, using three corn hybrids of different above-ground architecture in Uvalde, TX where day and night temperatures during corn growing season are above U.S. averages. The experiment was conducted in 2014. Our results suggested that delivering well-water at night-time through drip irrigation reduced root-zone soil temperature by 0.6 °C, increase root length five folds, plant height 2%, and marginally increased grain yield by 10%. However, irrigation timing did not significantly affect leaf chlorophyll level and kernel crude protein, phosphorous, fat and starch concentrations. Different from our hypothesis, the shorter, more compact corn hybrid did not exhibit a higher yield and growth as compared with taller hybrids. As adjusting irrigation timing would not incur an extra cost for farmers, the finding reported here had immediate practical implications for farm scale adaptation to hot environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: corn hybrids; day-time irrigation; irrigation management; night-time irrigation; night-time warming; root length; soil temperature; yield corn hybrids; day-time irrigation; irrigation management; night-time irrigation; night-time warming; root length; soil temperature; yield
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Dong, X.; Xu, W.; Zhang, Y.; Leskovar, D.I. Effect of Irrigation Timing on Root Zone Soil Temperature, Root Growth and Grain Yield and Chemical Composition in Corn. Agronomy 2016, 6, 34.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Agronomy EISSN 2073-4395 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top