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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1996-1998
1 Fluid Journal Winter 1998 Summary: At Lamberton and Waseca, yields in 10- and 20-inch rows exceeded yields in 30-inch rows by 7.2 percent, when averaged over all hybrids and plant populations. At Morris, the advantage was 8.5 percent. Hybrid choice influenced grain yield. All hybrids responded similarly to change in row width and change in plant population. Grain yield increased at Lamberton and Waseca with higher plant populations in 1992 and 1994 but not in 1993 when yields were limited by climatic conditions. Yield regression analysis versus harvest plant population showed yields were highest at or above 35,000 plants/A at Lamberton in 1992/1994 and highest at Waseca in 1994. They were unaffected by plant populations in 1992 at Waseca and at both locations in 1993. At Morris, yield regression analysis versus harvest plant population in 1993 and 1994 showed yields highest at 32,000 plants/A, the highest population studied at that location. Effects of hybrid choice and growing season climatic conditions were greater than row width or plant population on grain moisture, test weight, and ear length. In some years, maximum yields were obtained at harvest plant populations substantially higher than the current Minnesota population of 26,400 plants/A. Most corn in the northern Corn Belt is grown in 30- inch rows or wider. Recommended populations range from 24,000 to 28,000 plants/A. Average population at harvest for corn grown in Minnesota in 1995 was 26,400 plants/ A, up from 18,200 plants/A in 1975 and 22,200 plants/A in 1985. The trend has been toward narrower row width and an increase in plant population. Between 1930 (12,400 plants/A) and 1979 (20,200 plants/A), average yields in Minnesota increased from 32 to 100 bu/A. Drs. P.M. Porter, D.R. Hicks, W.E. Lueschen, J,H, Ford, D.D. Warnes, and T.R. Hoverstad Row Width/Plant Population Affect Corn Response Hybrid choice also influenced grain yield in three-year studies conducted by University of Minnesota scientists. Primary reason given for the increase in yields in narrow-row corn is decreased competition among plants within rows for light, water, and nutrients due to a more equidistant spatial arrangement of plants. Relative ease of converting 12- and 16-row planters on 30-inch row widths to 18- to 24-row planters on 20-inch row widths has been another reason for interest in narrower row corn production. Research also is showing that hybrid selection and maturity interact with row width. Objectives of this study were to: • determine whether current corn hybrids respond similarly to row width • determine whether hybrid response to row width is affected by plant population. Yield averages good Averaged over three years, the narrowing of rows and increased plant populations had a beneficial effect on yields. However, in 1993 growing conditions were abnormal at each location. Rainfall during the growing season exceeded long-term average by approximately 50 percent. Growing degree day accumulations in May and June were also approximately 13 percent below long-term averages at all three locations. These climatic Figure 1. Effect of row width on corn yield, Lamberton and Waseca, Porter et al., University of Minnesota, 1992-94. 10 125 130 135 140 145 150 Yield - bu/A 20 30 Row Width - Inches
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