Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



During the weather history of the Upper James Valley of South Dakota the limiting factor in crop production in 60 percent of the years has been soil moisture (15). Droughts of one kind or another are common experience in the lives of South Dakota farmers. If we cannot change the climatic factors we must be able to produce crops under existing conditions. During the early years of agriculture in this state the soil fertility was high and no fertilizer was needed. However, cash cropping has reduced the fertility of the land until fertilizer now must be used to enable the farmer to cover his high fixed costs by high production. His only alternative under limited acreage is to use every technique feasible to avoid bankruptcy. He must produce nearly as much on limited acreage as he did before on unlimited farmland. The use of fertilizer in the James Valley has been regarded as a gamble because of possible drought. Thus, the need for information is critical, as farmers are forced to use a relatively new practice with the possibility of unfavorable growing conditions. It is the purpose of this study to investigate some of the ecological factors which may alleviate drought injury to crops. The influence of the level of available plant nutrients and certain other soil properties are particular objectives of this study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plants -- Drought tolerance


Includes bibliographical references (pages 55-56)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In copyright.