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A comparison of soil moisture under continuous corn and bluegrass sod

Free, G.R.
Agronomy journal 1936 v.28 no.5 pp. 359-363
Zea mays, Poa, continuous cropping, soil water, rain, soil depth, soil water content, soil conservation, runoff, Iowa
Soil moisture in a 3-foot profile under continuous corn has been significantly more than that under bluegrass sod despite a difference in run-off of 5.51 surface inches. This difference in available moisture cannot be accounted for by greater additions to subsoil moisture below the 3-foot profile, because under corn, for the period for which percolation data from lysimeters is available, the percolation was greater by 3.62 surface inches. This condition of less run-off and less soil moisture under bluegrass sod as compared with corn can only be explained by greater evaporation and transpiration losses for the former crop. It is apparent that while the value of a bluegrass sod cover from the standpoint of soil conservation and reduction of run-off is beyond question, the term "moisture conservation" must be used very carefully in order to prevent misunderstanding.