The Maize Root

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Abstract

During an average period of growth, the root system of a single maize plant may exploit over 200 cubic feet of soil and may absorb 35–50 gallons of water. Depending on soil texture, the lateral spread of a mature root system may be 3–4 feet on all sides of the plant and typically penetrates to depths of 5–6 feet (Figure 4.1), although depths of 8 feet are not unusual (Weaver 1926). The depth of planting appears to bear no relationship to depth of rooting.