Soil temperature and its influence on crops

Soil temperature influences many physical, biological and chemical processes, therefore its measurement with sensors makes the development of the plant precise.

Temperature sensor

It measures the soil temperature in real time, up to 60cm deep and reflects the state of the root activity of the crop. It also improves the application of fertilizers and treatments.

It is wireless and allows a reading frequency of two minutes up to one hour per reading.

Factors influenced by soil temperature

We have to distinguish the influence on the plant and on the microorganisms of the subsoil

Influence on the plant:

  • The germination of the seed, of great importance both for direct sowing and for seedbeds.
  • The phenological development of the plant, shoots, flowering and fruiting.
  • The absorption of water by the root system depends partially on the temperature of the soil that promotes metabolic activity.
  • Nutrient intake.
  • It also influences perspiration.

Influence on the subsoil:

  • Low temperatures influence nitrification, favoring the oxidation of ammonia to convert it into nitrates and nitrites with the help of soil bacteria.
  • The decomposition of organic matter.
  • The intensity of the effect of pesticides.

Heat propagation in the ground

Soil temperature varies fundamentally with ambient temperature. The propagation depends on the composition and the water it contains and it is also important to measure the degree of humidity with sensors, to maintain a constant level.

The temperature of the irrigation water can also modify the temperature of the soil and alter the growth of the plant.

Thermal properties depend on two parameters: the capacity of the soil to store heat and the amount of heat transferred per unit of time.

Internal and external factors that modify it.

The interns are:

  • The texture. The sandy ones get hotter due to the amount of air that circulates. The least clayey and silty.
  • The structure of the land that varies from sandy to silty or clayey. The ideals the Franks.
  • The color like the silt ones that heat up less.
  • Water content that displaces heat from the surface to deeper areas.
  • The amount of organic matter.

The external ones:

  • The ambient temperature that provides solar radiation. During the day it heats up and the heat moves down. At night it decreases. The changes have effects on the root system according to Fischer.
  • The latitude of the terrain. The orientation towards the sun and the perpendicularity of the rays influence heating.
  • The altitude. UV rays are stronger in high areas than in valleys.
  • The existence of vegetation cover. If the heat is very intense or, on the contrary, very cold, the covers protect the ground from the entry and exit of radiation. The temperature fluctuation is less in soils with cover.
  • Soil tillage. The compact floor does not allow air to circulate and neither does heat. For this reason, in times of frost, tillage is not recommended. At planting time in many crops, furrows are formed in the ground to favor the increase in temperature when the plant germinates. In addition, in the spring rainy season, they protect the plant from flooding.

Effect of soil temperature on plants

Any control of the subsoil temperature is favorable to the plant and to the yield of the crop.

The phenological state of the plant depends on many factors and a very important one is the temperature around the root system, influencing germination, the appearance of shoots and the fall of the leaf due to the influence of temperature on chemical reactions.

At very low temperatures there is less decomposition of organic matter. Root uptake is also decreased by cooling and resistance to water movement through the plant's symplast or intracellular framework that allows water flow increases.

Temperature variations depend on the temperature of the atmosphere, therefore it varies between day and night. The higher the temperature, the greater the evaporation and the need for irrigation increases.

The temperature sensor helps us predict plant growth periods and the amount of evaporation that occurs.

The information helps in making decisions to favor the entire development and fruiting process of the plant.

Ways to protect the soil.

The best way to protect the floor is with mulches. They can be organic matter such as straw or crushed pruning debris. They can also be plasticized covers of lower or higher density, depending on the climate and crops. The most common is polyethylene.

Mulches also prevent evaporation and the soil holds moisture better.



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