Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Corn growers with automatic guidance system technology have the capability of planting corn precisely in relation to previous strip-tilled fertilizer zones. Depending on the physical and moisture conditions of the tilled fertilized zones and the rate and forms of fertilizers applied (presence of salts and free ammonia), the best seedbed location for planting may or may not be directly over the strip-till row. Conversely, planting to far away from the tilled fertilized zones may reduce benefits from residue management, loosened soil, and rapid root fertilizer access. The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of planting at different distances from strip-tilled fertilized rows for rain-fed corn in eastern Kansas. Planting distances evaluated were planting directly over the row, and 10, 19, and 38 cm off the center of the strip-till fertilized zones. Plant population, plant dry weights and uptake of nutrients at the 2 and 6 leaf growth stages, and yield were measured. In 2006, the corn planted 10 cm to the side of the strip-tilled fertilized zones yielded significantly better than corn planted directly over the row. This was likely because of its close proximity to the fertilized rows and a high final plant population. The corn planted directly on the strip-till row had reduced plant stand because the strip-till operation in 2006 was performed just one day ahead of planting and the seedbed was loose and not ideal for planting. In 2008 with cold and wet soil conditions and slowed root activity, yield was significantly reduced when corn was planted 38 cm from the strip-tilled fertilized zones compared to corn planted 10 and 19 cm away. Best growth and highest numerical grain yields occurred both years when corn was planted 10 cm to the side of the strip-till fertilized zones.