Miller, P. R. and Holmes, J. A. 2012. Short Communication: Comparative soil water use by annual crops at a semiarid site in Montana. Can. J. Plant Sci. 92: 803-807. Results for soil water use in the semiarid northern Great Plains are presented in detailed tabular format for 15 crops in an ideal environment for comparative water use assessment. The effective rooting depth of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varied relative to spring wheat; it was often similar and never less. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) averaged 43 mm greater soil water use below 0.9 m compared with spring wheat. Conversely, lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) and pea (Pisum sativum L.) averaged 27 mm and 48 mm less soil water than spring wheat to a 1.2-m soil depth, respectively. Observed differences in effective rooting depth for alternative crops carry important implications for wheat-based cropping systems.
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Vol. 92 • No. 4