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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Agronomic Investigations Using Continuous Function Experimental Designs—Nitrogen Fertilization of Sweet Corn1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 65 No. 3, p. 454-456
    Received: July 29, 1972

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  1. R. L. Fox2



Simple experimental designs are needed for exploratory field studies and for generating data for well defined yield response curves and surfaces. A design was developed by which a variable was increased in many small increments along corn (Zea mays L.) rows. Individual plants were handled as plots. Sweet corn was grown in rows 12 m long, along which rates of N fertilization increased in 40 increments from 0 to 220 kg/ha. Replication was obtained by repeating the layout but rotating it through 180 degees. “Border effects” along the row could be ignored because the incremental change of applied N was very small and because the N rate increased in one direction and decreased in the other. Because there are many experimental points it was possible to show that low rates of N produced a “diluting effect” on leaf N, that N deficiency symptoms disappeared and second ear develop ment began at about 140 kg N/ha, that lower corn leaves are the most sensitive indicators of the N status of corn, and that yield response to applied N was linear to 200 kg/ha of N applied. If a second factor is varied at right angles to the first, a well defined response surface can be obtained.

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