Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract. The water contents of a restored and an undisturbed soil were monitored over two ‘dry’ growing seasons in order to examine the differences in crop water availability from different horizons. Bulk density was approximately 10% greater in the topsoil of restored land than in undisturbed land, and the water holding capacity was less, probably because there was less organic matter. In the subsoil a major problem was the inability of the soil to allow winter rainfall to recharge the water reserves. Bulk density and penetration resistance were greater in the restored subsoil than in the undisturbed subsoil. Increases in penetration resistance on drying may have restricted rooting activity, especially in the restored subsoil.Ripping of the subsoil to a depth greater than the usual 0.5 m, possibly early in the year in a grass crop to allow new root growth to exploit the cracks, may increase water availability for future dry seasons.
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