Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



In recent years, a subject of considerable speculation among South Dakota farmers is whether or not the use of nitrogenous fertilizers is profitable under conditions of dryland farming. There has been a prejudice against the use of nitrogenous fertilizers as giving a leafy, succulent growth, liable to drought damage. Frequent claims are that additions of nitrogen result in “burning” of crops when moisture conditions become unfavorable, and that under these conditions yields are often better without the use of fertilizer. A common explanation is that fertilized crops use more water than unfertilized crops and this results in the fertilized crops having less chance to reach maturity when the moisture is limited. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect if nitrogenous fertilizer applications on the yield and moisture use of crops grown under various conditions of moisture supply. These objectives were pursued in experiments conducted in the field where it was anticipated that considerable natural moisture stress would occur, and in the greenhouse, some with no control over moisture conditions and others with controlled moisture. In some experiments, partial biochemical analysis of plants were made in an endeavor to find a physiochemical basis for observed results. It is hoped that the results of this investigation will serve in the aid in making better recommendations with regard to the application of nitrogenous fertilizers to crops under conditions of limited moisture.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plants -- Effect of nitrates on.
Plants -- Water requirements.
Dry farming.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University