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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1993-1995
3 Fluid Journal Fall 1993 Don't overlook weeds Development of a profitable corn production system with minimal environmental impact demands a holistic approach that embraces both fertility and pest management decisions. Our 1991 experiments conducted at a site in Gates County, North Carolina, indicated that a remedial, all- postemergence herbicide program is viable and can be used to: 1) reduce overall pesticide use by decreasing "pounds on the ground," 2) reduce total pesticide costs, or 3) replace controversial herbicides with materials believed to be more "environmentally friendly." Our data suggested that more competitive, more insect-tolerant corn can be grown with starters. Data also indicated that postemergence herbicides should be applied early in their application window before corn grows to a size that will prevent good herbicide cover-age of weeds developing atop the fertilizer band. Accent, or Accent plus atrazine, or Accent plus Banvel works well in an all -postemergence program. Recent research shows that use of new, selective, post-emergence herbicides on corn may reduce pesticide requirements while decreasing environmental risk and ground water contamination. Account for tillage Tillage effects were examined at the Gates County site in 1991. Corn and grain yields were typical of those obtained by growers in the area. Grain yields were similar when a system using a banded 1:1 N:P starter, with no additional N applied until 42 days after planting, was compared to a broadcast system using 50 percent of the N applied at planting (Figure 3). When no-till planting was introduced into the experiment, grain yield decreased to 80 bu/A with broadcast fertilization. No- till and conventional tillage (disk/field cultivator) produced similar yields when no-till treatments were supplemented with a starter and a higher rate of sidedressed N. Accordingly, our working hypothesis is that no-till will be successful, even on poorly drained soils, if appropriate starter fertilization is combined with vigorous corn hybrids and adequate residual fertility. Catching on There is tremendous interest in the idea that fertilization and pest management may be integrated to produce high-yielding corn less expensively in an environmentally sound way. Growers arc excited that new management techniques, such as soil nitrate tests or chlorophyll meters, may make both economic and environmental improvement possible in corn. Also, the environmental climate has changed markedly in recent months. There is little doubt that growers now recognize the need to demonstrate proficiency as environmental stewards. It follows that agronomists must provide solutions to environmental problems, aggressively encourage farmers to adopt cultural practices favorable to the environment, and strive to communicate their documented successes to both the farm sector and the non-farming public. Dr. Anderson is a professor of Crop Science and Dr. Linker is a professor of Crop Science and Entomology at Worth Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. J
Fluid Journal 1996-1998