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Research article2012Peer reviewedOpen access

Effects of sedbed properties on crop emergence. 4. Inhibitory effect of oxygen deficiency

Hakansson Inge, Keller Thomas, Arvidsson Johan, Rydberg Tomas


For studies of the effects of seedbed properties on crop emergence, experiments were carried out in shallow plastic boxes. In some experiments, it was examined whether rainfall after sowing could cause oxygen deficiency in the seedbed sufficiently severe to hamper emergence. Crops studied were barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), oilseed rape (Brassica napus var. oleifera, L., Metzg.) and pea (Pisum sativum L.). For harmful oxygen deficiency to develop it appeared that rainfall would need to cause structural collapse of the surface layer followed by continuously wet weather accompanied by slow drainage and high oxygen consumption in the soil; in the experiments the latter was achieved by large amounts of easily decomposable organic matter. It was concluded that such conditions are rare in the field. Therefore, unless rainfall after sowing generates surface water for an extended period, the poor crop emergence often observed after such rainfall is nearly always caused not by oxygen deficiency, but by surface layer hardening when this layer dries.


Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.); oilseed rape (Brassica napus var. oleifera, L., Metzg.); pea (Pisum sativum L.); soil aeration; wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil and Plant Science
2012, Volume: 62, number: 2, pages: 166-171
Publisher: Taylor & Francis: STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles