Start Date

30-11-2006 12:00 AM

Description

Agricultural plants require moisture, but there is more to it than a simple need for rain or irrigation. Under conditions that depend on precipitation to replenish crop available soil moisture it is easy to conclude that the success of the crop depends upon the rain. This is in large measure true , yet considerable variations in yields are found in areas with like precipitation. The "law of limiting factors" holds that at any given moment there is only one factor limiting the growth of a plant. It may be some aspect of soil fertility, or temperature, or light, or carbon dioxide, or plant water, or some other factor. Maximum crop growth requires that no factor of the plant's environment become limiting at any time. Although methods to insure that plants experience favorable temperature and light levels and soil fertility is a well developed science, little can be gained by increased efforts in making those resources more readily available to crops. Basically if a crop does not respond to an increase in a necessary growth resource, that resource was not limiting growth at the time it was tested. The factor that has been found to be consistently the more limiting resource to Midwest crop production is plant available water (including the indirect effects of water availability on plant response).

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/icm-180809-840

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Nov 30th, 12:00 AM

The "Root" of Drought Problems

Agricultural plants require moisture, but there is more to it than a simple need for rain or irrigation. Under conditions that depend on precipitation to replenish crop available soil moisture it is easy to conclude that the success of the crop depends upon the rain. This is in large measure true , yet considerable variations in yields are found in areas with like precipitation. The "law of limiting factors" holds that at any given moment there is only one factor limiting the growth of a plant. It may be some aspect of soil fertility, or temperature, or light, or carbon dioxide, or plant water, or some other factor. Maximum crop growth requires that no factor of the plant's environment become limiting at any time. Although methods to insure that plants experience favorable temperature and light levels and soil fertility is a well developed science, little can be gained by increased efforts in making those resources more readily available to crops. Basically if a crop does not respond to an increase in a necessary growth resource, that resource was not limiting growth at the time it was tested. The factor that has been found to be consistently the more limiting resource to Midwest crop production is plant available water (including the indirect effects of water availability on plant response).

 

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