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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 77 No. 3, p. 446-455
    Received: June 26, 1984

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Predicting Corn Planting Dates for Moldboard and No-till Tillage Systems in the Corn Belt1

  1. S. C. Gupta2



Surface crop residues under conservation tillage systems slow warming of the seed zone and thus delay corn (Zea mays L.) planting. The purpose of this study was to develop a model that predicts corn planting dates for the Corn Belt states under two extreme tillage surface residue conditions. The simulation procedure involves integration of soil temperature predictions with the seed zone growing degree day concept for corn emergence. Predicted time to corn emergence was tested against the measured values from nine locations in Ohio, Iowa, and Minnesota. These data sets covered several planting dates, a total of eight corn hybrids and two tillage systems (in Ohio only). Except for a few cases, predicted time to corn emergence was within 4 days of the measured values. This model was further extended to develop probabilities of time required to achieve 75% corn emergence for various planting dates using the historical climatic record (12 to 17 years) of daily maximum and minimum air temperatures. Assuming that 75% corn emergence should be achieved in 14 days or less, earliest corn planting dates were selected from the probability graphs corresponding to three spring weather conditions. Using the predicted earliest corn planting dates for 44 locations in the Corn Belt states, two sets of maps delineating areas with similar corn planting dates were developed. These maps cover two soil moisture conditions under moldboard and no-till tillage systems. Based on planting date maps procedures are also suggested to (i) forecast earliest corn planting date from a 30- or a 90-day outlook of precipitation and air temperature by the National Weather Service and (ii) match corn hybrid maturity with tillage system and spring climate.

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