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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 6, p. 733-735
    Received: Jan 14, 1972

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Elemental Composition of Maize Grown Under No-Till and Conventional Tillage1

  1. George O. Estes2



Grower acceptance of the no-till technique for corn (Zea mays L.) production is increasing due to reduced labor costs, improved water and soil conservation by the herbicide-killed cover crop, and frequently higher yields compared to conventional tillage. Information regarding macro- and micronutrient uptake by corn produced under the unique no-till system is limited. This field study compares elemental composition, plant population, and yield of corn (var. ‘Wisconsin 335A’) under no-till and conventional culture at five lime levels.

The concentration of Ca, Mg, Zn, Mo, B, and Al in corn leaf tissue was significantly reduced and K concentration was significantly increased under no-till conditions. Significant soil pH increases were noted only under the no-till system in the surface samples (O to 8 cm) at the two highest lime application rates (4 and 8 tons/ha). Plant population was reduced (16.1%), but silage yields increased (22.5%) with the no-tillage method. This may reflect increased moisture conservation, since relatively dry growing conditions prevailed. The reduced nutrient utilization (with the exception of K) and plant population under no-till conditions may justify changes in fertilization practice and an increase in seeding rates. The former is particularly important if no-till methods were to be used over extended periods of time without plowing.

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