Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate

Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

Sterling A. Taylor


Sterling A. Taylor


Barley is one of the important crops in many of the irrigated regions of the world. It is an important crop in Iran for both human consumption and livestock feed. In the United States and Europe it is used for livestock feed and beverages.

The income from this crop is moderate in comparison to that from other major agricultural products.

Barley production has a definite place in the economy of the region, because it requires only a small amount of care. It can be readily grown on poor lands. One of the factors contributing to the increased acreage of barley in many countries is the tolerance and adaptability of this plant to salt and poor or second class land. Yields have been increased materially in recent years with the development of new varieties superior to the standard varieties previously used. Better cultural practices are improving yields, but much remains to be done in this phase of the work.

Plant growth is affected by many complex factors, two of which are soil fertility and moisture. A considerable number of investigations have been carried out, where either fertility or moisture effects have been studied independently on barley. No studies have been found in literature where the two factors have been studied jointly on this crop. But in some other crops these two factors have been studied jointly.

H. B. Peterson (15) in his study (Balance nitrogen and water for sweet corn) at Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, found that a proper balance between nitrogen and soil moisture is often the key to profitable production of sweet corn in Utah. The moisture condition that is best at one fertility level may be the poorest at another level, but maximum yields are obtained when the nitrogen supply is high and the moisture plentiful.

Haddock (7) has shown in a number of experiments that the soil moisture condition markedly affects the phosphorus uptake by sugar beet. He found that as the soils become dry, the soluble phosphorus content of the beet petioles falls markedly. Also, as soil moisture tension is decreased, the petioles' soluble phosphorus content is increased against the normal seasonal tendency to decrease. Under conditions where soil moisture is kept relatively high all season, the soluble nitrate nitrogen content of beet petioles becomes low by mid-season and continues to decline throughout the season. Haddock (8), using P32 tagged super-phosphate, in another experiment found the same relationships between fertilizer and soil moisture condition upon phosphorus uptake.

The relationship between fertilizer response and moisture found for sweet corn and sugar beet suggests that these factors might be inter-related in barley production. This study is an attempt to determine the effects of various soil fertility and soil moisture tension levels on the yield of barley. By studying the relationships that exist between soil moisture tension and fertility as has been shown and studied in other crops it is theoretically possible to arrive at the optimum level for both factors thus obtaining maximum yields.

Studies leading to the data reported in this paper were conducted in 1955 at the Evans Experimental Farm of the Utah State Agricultural Experimental Station.



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