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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1999-2001
Fall 1999 Summary: Starter fertilizer (10 gal/A 10-34-0) stimulated early plant growth, increased corn grain yields by 6 to 7 bu/A, and reduced grain moisture by about 1 percentage point for both continuous corn and corn after soybeans. Starter fertilizer did not increase grain N concentration. Row cleaners increased early plant growth of continuous corn but had no impact on any other corn production parameters. Continuous corn yields were increased 4 bu/A by row cleaners when averaged across N source and starter fertilizer. Corn yields following soybeans were increased 8 bu/A by starter fertilizer when row cleaners were not used and by only 3 bu/A by starter fertilizer when row cleaners were used. Corn yields following soybeans were 13 percent higher than for continuous corn. _________________________________ No-till corn production in northern portions of the Corn Belt has seriously challenged growers, often not being economically competitive with conventional or slightly reduced tillage systems. This is especially true on the highly productive but more poorly drained clay loam soils of northern Iowa and southern Minnesota where corn is grown on approximately 8 million acres. These soils are cold at planting and slow to warm. Slow root development retards early plant growth, delays silking, increases moisture at maturity and reduces yields. These effects occur most frequently with continuous corn, but are also noticeable when corn follows soybeans. Three management options were considered to correct these problems or at least help to make no-till systems more competitive. • Place fluid starter with seed to stimulate early root growth • Clear residue from a 4- to 6-inch zone over the row with row cleaners to speed soil warming in seed zone and improve seed-to-soil contact for quicker emergence • Place UAN within 2 to 3 inches of row to stimulate early plant growth. Our primary objective was to determine the effects and interactions of starters, row cleaners and N placements on corn grain yield in continuous corn and corn following soybeans in no-till systems. Continuous corn Yield. Corn grain yield increased as high as 6 bu/A when starter fertilizer (10 gal/A 10-34-0) was used and as high as 9 bu/A when starter and row cleaners were used (Figure 1). Grain moisture percent was lowest when both starter and row cleaners were used. Surface residue. Coverage was high throughout the season. Residue coverage averaged 98 and 87 percent on April 22 and May 20, respectively (data not shown). Residue coverage still averaged greater than 80 percent on July 2 and was greater than 65 percent on August 31 (Figure 2). Row cleaners had no effect on residue coverage on either July 2 or August 31. Emergence. Corn emerged quickly in 1998 due to very warm temperatures in May. Soil temperature at the 2-inch depth on residue-free soil averaged 69.9°F for the month, almost 15°F warmer than in 1997. Corn began to emerge only 11 days after planting (10 days earlier than in 1997) and was completely emerged 8 days later (9 days earlier than in 1997). Row cleaners or starter fertilizer did not affect emergence under these warm conditions. Plant height measured on June 19 increased significantly by 1.7 inches with UAN, 1.3 inches with row cleaners, and 4.5 inches with starter. Grain moisture at harvest was reduced significantly (1.0 point) with the use of starter fertilizer but was not affected by row cleaners. N concentration was not affected by starter fertilizer and row cleaners, but was reduced 0.15 percent N when UAN was broadcast on the soil surface compared to spoke-wheel injection. Dr. Gyles Randall and Jeffrey Vetsch A Look At Starters, Row Cleaners And N Placement In No-Till Minnesota researchers use study to determine effects of its components on no-till continuous corn and corn after soybeans.
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