PEMANFAATAN WATER ABSORBENT UNTUK MENINGKATKAN RETENSI AIR DAN PERTUMBUHAN TANAMAN JAGUNG (Zea mays L.)
Water availability is one of principal problem in the system of dry-land farming, especially for food crops. Every plants needs constant water supply to grow, but this is not obtained in dry land farming that rely mainly on rain as a water resource. The lack of water availability in dry season caused decreasing of plant’s growth and productivity. In order to increase water availability, this research is using super water absorbent (SWA) from cassava’s starch to hold water and release it slowly. The purposes of this research are analyzing the impact of cassava’s starch SWA to the volume of water that is retained by soil and growth of corn (Zea mays L). The result showed that application of water absorbent tend to increase the ammont of water retained by soil, eventhough the effect was not significant. Application of water absorbent result in significanly better corn growth as compared to control (no water absorbent). Nevertheless the application of water absorbent fail to maintain crop growth at optimum level. The treatment that retained most water is cassava starch SWA with 0.2 g/kg the dosages of spread mix in soil make every 14 days watering. While, application of cassava’s starch with 0.1 g/kg the dosages of concentrate in soil make every 14 days watering has a significant with the high and leaves’s wide, but not with the number it.
Keywords: Sandy clay, Super Water Absorbant, the volume of water retained by soil, the growth of corn