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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1996-1998
1 Fluid Journal Fall 1997 orn acreage has increased recently in the mid-South, partly because it is an ideal crop for rotating with cotton. Corn is planted earlier than cotton and is harvested before cotton, so it does not interfere with cotton production, the primary cash crop of this region. Early planting dates required for optimal corn production in the southern U.S. (early March to mid-April) often expose seedlings to lower than optimal soil temperatures, especially on coarse- textured soils. The cool soils may result in poor root growth and reduced availability of soil P, even though soil test P levels are considered adequate for plant growth. Studies show that under these conditions starters are most effective when placed close to the seed. by Drs. Henry J. Mascangni, Jr. and Donald J. Boquet C Star Star Star Star Starters Boost Y ters Boost Y ters Boost Y ters Boost Y ters Boost Yields Of Corn R ields Of Corn R ields Of CornR ields Of Corn R ields Of Corn Rotated otated otated otated otated W W W W With Cotton ith Cotton ith Cotton ith Cotton ith Cotton Louisiana three-year study shows that planting date and hybrid selection can affect corn reponse to fluid starters. Summary: Yield response to planting date was not consistent across years. In two of three years, planting later than early April decreased corn yield. Similarly, yield response to fluid starlets was not consistent across years or hybrids. Starters increased grain yield in two of three years. Planting date by starter interaction for yield was significant in each of these years. Hybrid by starter interaction for yield was significant in one of three years. Starter fertilizer increased early-season plant height by 2 to 36 percent and increased grain yield across planting dates from 8 to 21 bu/A in 1991, and to 15 bu/A in 1993. There was no yield response to starter in 1992. In the corn/cotton production system of the South, placement of fluids such as 11-37-0 in the seed furrow is practical and economical, since cotton producers typically use in-furrow equipment for insecticide applications. Potential for seed injury via direct contact between fertilizer and seed makes rate of fertilizer application very important. Since there has been little research on cultural practices in southern corn/ cotton rotation systems, our objective in this study was to determine the influence of planting date and starter fertilizer on the performance of six corn hybrids in a corn/cotton cropping system. Climate Mean air temperatures during the three-year study were normal except for 1993 when March and April temperatures were below the long-term mean (Table 1). In 1991, April rainfall was three times higher than the long- term mean. Planting date Since planting dates differed each year, data are shown for each year. Additionally, the significant planting date by year interaction indicated that planting date was an important factor affecting grain yield, with optimal planting date varying across years. Starter effect on yields was significant in two of three years-l991 and 1993. Averaged across planting dates and hybrids, starters increased yield 9.5 percent in 1991 and 5.4 percent in 1993. 1991. Higher yield occurred at the Table 1. Monthly mean air temperatures and rainfall during 1991-1993 growing seasons at St. Joseph, LA. Long Term Month mean* 1991 1992 1993 Temperature °F March 57.6 60.3 58.1 55.2 April 65.8 69.4 66.2 61.2 May 73.0 76.3 73.4 71.4 June 76.3 81.3 77.4 82.4 July 82.0 77.4 78.4 79.3 August 81.3 74.3 72.3 78.4 Rainfall --- Inches March 6.2 6.6 3.5 4.4 April 5.4 15.9 2.2 5.4 May 5.0 6.1 1.5 3.7 June 3.4 1.5 6.1 4.0 July 4.5 3.6 3.1 2.9 August 3.3 3.2 7.4 0.5 *50-ye ar me an, 1941-1990
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