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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Influence of Conservation-Tillage Environments on Growth and Productivity of Corn1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 3, p. 337-340
    Received: Sept 8, 1976

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  1. J. J. Mock2 and
  2. D. C. Erbach3



Research on growth responses of corn (Zea mays L.) to environmental conditions associated with conservation-tillage systems has not been extensively conducted. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to evaluate effects of various tillage systems (fall moldboard plow, till-plant, no-till ridge with and without previous-crop residue) and early planting on growth and productivity of several corn genotypes (including two heterogeneous breeding populations that were improved for cold tolerance by recurrent selection). The experiment was conducted for 2 years on a loam soil (Typic Hapludoll), and planting dates were 1 Apr. 1974, and 30 Apr. 1975. Conservation-tillage systems were associated with lower midafternoon soil temperatures (at 5cm depth) during the early growing season and more variability in depth of seed placement. Also, seedling and juvenile plant growth, final plant densities, and grain yields were lower in conservation-tillage systems. These differences were accentuated in the early planting environment of the 1974 experiment. With a relatively normal planting date and equal final plant densities (the not affected by tillage treatment. There was no interaction between tillage method and com genotype. Usually, genotypes with vigorous seedling and juvenile plant growth and high final plant stands produced highest grain yields in all tillage environments. In the central U.S. Corn Belt, therefore, optimum corn grain yields in conservation-tillage environments will be obtained by the use of planters that assure uniform seed depth and genotypes that display vigorous plant growth and development.

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