Soil Temperature Patterns During the First Sugarcane Growth Stages Under a Different Crop Management in the Cauca River Valley, Colombia

  •  Andrés Javier Peña Quiñones    
  •  Christian José Mendoza Castiblanco    


For several years, the Colombian sugarcane industry had sugar and ethanol as its primary products. However, during the last years, sugar mills opened a new market based on products before considered waste. This new market offers a new possibility for harvest-waste utilization. However, if the waste becomes an income source, crop management will change. Collecting sugarcane waste for its utilization in making some other products, would mean a new crop management scenario left the soil bare soil during the first stages of planting and ratoon canes. We simulated a bare soil condition using mesocosms, for the three most representative soil textures of the Cauca river valley, and we measured soil temperature at different depths during the most convenient planting season (March-April). Results demonstrated differences in soil temperature patterns, especially in sandy soils, which tend to have higher thermal amplitudes in all layers. The parameters of linear regressions that relate temperature of layers, including air temperature, give information related to the thermal properties of soils, and therefore, it is possible, under Cauca Valley conditions, in the future to infer soil temperature from air temperature.

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