See more from this Session: Symposium--the Solar Corridor Concept
Monday, October 17, 2011: 9:20 AM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 214C, Concourse Level
The solar corridor concept has utilized wide-row corn and reduced seeding rates in order to maximize photosynthesis of the lower leaves of corn (Zea mays L.) and maintain the yield potential of the crop. Seeding rates for corn have typically increased and row spacing decreased for early canopy development in order to maximize light interception and reduce interference from weeds. Seeding rates have increased as hybrids are more tolerant to environmental stresses such as drought. Rapid canopy closure is beneficial to reduce weed interference as part of an integrated weed management system in crops to reduce herbicide applications and costs. However, wide-rows are desired for disease management in some instances. Relay-intercropping within the solar corridor may be an option; however, crop management and harvest considerations need to be taken into account in order for the system to be economically viable. Research conducted in 2005, 2006, and 2011 evaluated corn hybrid response in 76- and 152-cm (solar corridor) row spacings. Grain yields were similar between row spacings in 2005, but yields were 2790 kg ha-1 greater in 76-cm rows compared to 152-cm wide rows in 2006. There has been interest in twin-row corn production in the solar corridor system and results with twin-row production will be discussed. Some of the current challenges that have been encountered with the solar corridor will need to be addressed for the system to be consistent and successful in upstate Missouri.