PPDL Picture of the Week
July 13, 2015
Death by Drowning
RL (Bob) Nielsen, Corn Extension Specialist, Purdue Agronomy, firstname.lastname@example.org
The main effect on corn growth and development by saturated soils is the deterioration or death of roots in response to soil oxygen deprivation. As soils begin to dry, new root growth (regeneration if you will) begins near the soil surface and "follows" the downward drying of the soil with time. It is the rate and extent of that fresh root development that largely determines whether a waterlogged field will recover "strongly" or not.
Bright sunshine and warm temperatures help "drive" photosynthesis by the above-ground crop canopy, which provides the necessary photosynthates to support renewed root development below ground. Cloudy, cool days during the recovery period simply slow the recovery process. Repeated re-wetting of the soil profile delays further drying of the saturated soil.
For more information and photos, see my online article at http://www.kingcorn.org/news/articles_15/WaterloggedCorn_0707.html.