Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 June 2017
Soil water from plots containing cotton, devil's-claw, cotton with devil's-claw, and bare soil was measured throughout the growing season using a neutron probe and related to weed interference with the crop. Volumetric water content throughout the soil profile to a depth of 180 cm did not differ among treatments before the 5th or 6th week after cotton emergence. Greater water depletion occurred early in the season in plots containing devil's-claw which corresponded to a period of rapid weed growth. In plots containing only cotton, the largest reduction in water content occurred later in the season during peak bloom and early boll formation. Soil water content at depths greater than 105 cm remained unchanged in all plots throughout the season. Interference from devil's-claw reduced cotton lint yield 96% in 1986 and 46% in 1987. Higher rainfall and reduced weed populations in 1987 reduced the impact of weed interference on cotton lint yield.