> I wonder how many farmers have dug up crop plants to look at the roots ?
> It is easy to tell whether active nodulation has developed
> on legume roots.... what else can be quickly observed ??
> Joel Gruver
> Soil Quality Research
> U of MD
This spring I dug up 3 different types of cover crops(hairy vetch,
crimson clover, and rye) to observe the differences in root stucture. I
was amazed that the root biomass appeared to be almost double as
compared to the above ground portion af the plant. It was a relativly
easy proceedure to shovel out a plant and then place it in a bucket of
water and rinse until soil was washed off. In theory, I think you're on
the right track by analyzing roots soon after they develope. Please let
us know what your research indicates.
Plant roots can also be a good indicator of compaction as they will
"flatten out" at the compacted layer. This would have to done at a
mature stage of the crop however.
-- "New Generation Cropping Systems": the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture http://www2.epix.net/~cmfarm/ Steve Groff Cedar Meadow Farm 679 Hilldale Rd Holtwood PA 17532 USA Ph. 717-284-5152
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