Monitoring of the Soil Thermal Regime under Irrigated Forage Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) at Shambat, Khartoum State, Sudan

Fatima Awad Alla Abass Elhassan, Mukhtar Ahmed Mustafa


This study was undertaken in a field cultivated with forage sorghum sown on 15 May, 2013, fertilized with urea at a rate of 100 kg N/fed. and furrow-irrigated every fifteen days. Air and soil temperatures were measured daily at 8, 14 and 15 hours during the period 1 July – 31 August, 2013. Air temperature (Ta) was measured at 2 m above ground level. Soil temperature was measured at depths: 0, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 50 cm. At 8 hrs in July, the mean monthly Ta, soil surface (T0), 0-50 cm (T0-50) and 20-50 cm (T20-50) temperatures were 31.7, 30.4, 31.1, and 31.8 oC, respectively. While in August these mean monthly temperatures were successively 28.8, 28.3, 29.0 and 29.7 oC. They were respectively lower than those of July due to higher rainfall and relative humidity of air in August. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the monthly air and soil temperatures were relatively low, ranging between 2.5 and 6.1 in July and 4.6 and 8.4 in August. For both months, the mean daily or monthly soil temperature profile depicted an increase in temperature with increase of depth till 20 cm and then it leveled off to 50 cm. At 14 hrs the mean monthly Ta, T0, T0-50, and T20-50 were respectively 41.5, 47.3, 39.2 and 33.5 oC in July, and 32.7, 36.1, 33.3 and 30.9 oC in August. At this hour for both months, the mean daily or monthly soil temperature decreased with increase of depth till 20 cm and then they leveled off to 50 cm. In both months and all monitoring times the CV of the mean daily or monthly temperature in 20-50 cm was very low.  In both months and at the three times, soil monthly profiles fitted a highly significant (p £ 0.01) polynomial equation of the second degree with very high coefficient of determinations (r2) ranging between 0.881-0.987. The daily and monthly soil temperature profiles at 15 hours were nearly similar to those at 14 hrs. At 14 hrs in July the maximum Ta, T0, T0-50, and T20-50 values reached 48.3, 60.7, 46.6 and 33.9, respectively. They were consecutively 44.4, 59.3, 46.6, and 39 oC in August. These relatively high values triggered by climate change may cause heat stress at various crop development stages and consequently reduce its growth and productivity.


Soil temperature; forage sorghum; climate change

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