Database Research Summaries2018 Water Stress development and Mitigation in West-Central North Dakota
The focus of this project is to evaluate the effect of the application of antitranspirants on the development of water stress in soybeans grown in a semi-arid climate.
- Measure the effect of the application of antitranspirants on the development of water stress in soybeans grown in a semi-arid climate.
- Measure the effect of water depletion by cover crops on the development of water stress in soybeans.
- The experiments had twelve treatments and were applied before flowering, after flowering, or both. Leaf water status was monitored using a reliable technique called the “Relative Water Content,” which consists of measuring the water content of the leaves, allowing the leaves to take up water and rehydrate, and weighing again.
- In general, the experimental treatments did not work. The year 2017 was an extremely dry year in western North Dakota, with water deficits (potential water use minus rainfall) greater than 10 inches. At Cole Harbor and Minot, the growth regulator ethephon did give some indication of increasing plant water status, but yields were not increased by anti-transpirant use at any of the three sites.
- The patterns of water stress were different at the three sites. At the Underwood site, the plants were under only a slight to moderate water stress at the end of the growing season, and yields were acceptable, given the harshness of the growing season, at 28 bu/A. The Minot site was under a slight to moderate water stress for the entire last month of the growing season, and the yield was 16 bu/A. The Cole Harbor site was more vigorous than the Minot site for most of the growing season, but essentially “burned up” at the end of the season, and the yield was only 10 bu/A. Relative Water Content measurements less than 80% were observed, indicating severe stress.
Farmers in semi-arid regions will benefit, with a better understanding of how water depletion by cover crops affects the subsequent soybean crop.
For more information about this research project, please visit the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database.
Funded in part by the soybean checkoff.