NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center




NMSU Clovis Science Center plans crop root demonstration Sept. 19

CLOVIS - Understanding of crop root systems, which are often called "the hidden half" of the plant, is limited. Scientists at New Mexico State University's Agriculture Science Center at Clovis are studying the root systems of existing and potential crops for the region.



A demonstration of root systems is scheduled for 8-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Agricultural Science Center at Clovis. The science center is located 13 miles north of Clovis on State Road 288. (Courtesy Photo from NMSU)

"This is a great opportunity for people to come out and see how the root systems of various crops develop and how they respond differently to irrigation," said Mark Marsalis, Extension agronomist at the Clovis center. "Most folks are familiar with the above-ground portion of plants, but have little knowledge of what is happening below ground."

Roots can travel down several feet and often constitute a large portion of the total plant weight. Root development and growth patterns play a major role in how productive a plant will be and how it responds to drought conditions.

Crop root systems vary in type (fibrous vs. tap root), depth, density, horizontal distribution and responses to management. Irrigation water management is one of the factors influencing root traits. Sangu Angadi, crop stress physiologist at the Clovis center, is studying the root systems of seven different crops (corn, forage and grain sorghum, sorghum-sudan grass, cowpea, canola and cotton) grown under dryland and irrigated conditions.

A demonstration of root systems is scheduled for 8-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Agricultural Science Center at Clovis. The science center is located 13 miles north of Clovis on State Road 288. The demonstration is part of NMSU's continuing outreach efforts to help educate and improve the lives of people around New Mexico and the region. For detailed information, contact Angadi or Marsalis at (505) 985-2292.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Marsalis in advance at (505) 985-2292 or e-mail marsalis@nmsu.edu.