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Soil exploration by sorghum root systems in wide row cropping systems

Broad, I. J. and Hammer, G. L. (2004) Soil exploration by sorghum root systems in wide row cropping systems. In: "New Directions for a Diverse Planet", 4th International Crop Science Congress in conjunction with the 12th Australian Agronomy Conference and the 5th Asian Crop Science Conference, 26 September - 1 October 2004, Brisbane, Australia. Australian Society of Agronomy.


Article Link: http://www.regional.org.au/au/asa/2004/poster/1/3/...


Wide and ‘skip row’ row configurations have been used as a means to improve yield reliability in grain sorghum production. However, there has been little effort put to design of these systems in relation to optimal combinations of root system characteristics and row configuration, largely because little is known about root system characteristics. The studies reported here aimed to determine the potential extent of root system exploration in skip row systems. Field experiments were conducted under rain-out shelters and the extent of water extraction and root system growth measured. One experiment was conducted using widely-spaced twin rows grown in the soil. The other experiment involved the use of specially constructed large root observation chambers for single plants. It was found that the potential extent of root system exploration in sorghum was beyond 2m from the planted rows using conventional hybrids and that root exploration continued during grain filling. Preliminary data suggested that the extent of water extraction throughout this region depended on root length density and the balance between demand for, and supply of, water. The results to date suggest that simultaneous genetic and management manipulation of wide row production systems might lead to more effective and reliable production in specific environments. Further study of variation in root-shoot dynamics and root system characteristics is required to exploit possible opportunities.

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Live Archive:02 Feb 2024 00:54
Last Modified:02 Feb 2024 00:54

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