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Effect of sub-soil penetration resistance on root growth and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
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  • Sanjay Patel,
  • Indra Mani,
  • Prem Sundaram,
  • Pankaj Gupta
Sanjay Patel
Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University
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Indra Mani
ICAR Agricultural Engineering and Technology Division
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Prem Sundaram
ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region
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Pankaj Gupta
Anand Agricultural University
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Abstract

High sub-soil strength is one of the major constraints to reduce plant root growth and crop yield and to test this hypothesis a total of 39 plot experiments consisting of 13 treatments with three replications were conducted using a factorial randomized block design (FRBD) in a uniform field conditions for a period of two years from 2006-07 and 2007-08. Triticum aestivum L. was grown after tilling the soil up to a depth of 15 cm and crop growth, yield parameters root length density was measured. The variation of soil strength with soil compaction was developed using three levels of normal loads: 4.40, 6.40 and 8.40 kN; and 1, 6, 11 and 16 numbers of passes. A maximum of 12.53% and minimum of 1.26% decrease in plant height was observed at the time of harvesting due to application of maximum and minimum sub-surface soil strength of 43.25 and 26.8 J/cm, respectively. For all combinations of normal loads and no. of passes (i.e., sub soil strength), nearly 51-61 % of wheat roots were confined in surface layer (i.e., 0-15 cm of upper soil layer) followed by nearly 17-20 % in 15-30 cm and the rest 22-28% below 30 cm of soil layer. The root length density (RLD) at 15-30 cm of soil layer was significantly higher under high level of sub-surface soil penetration as compared with control. The higher sub-soil strength reduces the crop yield upto 121 kg/ha i.e. 23.62 per cent and root length density of 0.69 cm/cm3.