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Summary

Two rapid methods of assessing relative turgidity in maize are described. The first involved measuring the water uptake by discs of leaf tissue but omits the oven dry weight from the calculation. Where the position on the leaf was standardized, the relationship was linear (r = 0.99***) over a wider range than normally encountered in field conditions. The regression relationship held for plants grown under a wide variety of environmental conditions and at various stages of development.

The second method utilized a series of photographic standards of plants at different relative turgidities. Relative turgidity could then be estimated visually by comparing the plant and the photographic standards.

Accuracy with either method was similar to the experimental error of relative turgidity measured by normal means. Both offer a considerable saving in time, especially the photographic standard method which allows instantaneous readings to be made. This should permit field workers to assess rapidly the water status of their crop without the labour involved in conventional measurements.