About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions



This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 97 No. 3, p. 854-863
    Received: Oct 15, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): jpikul@ngirl.ars.usda.gov


Corn Yield, Nitrogen Use, and Corn Rootworm Infestation of Rotations in the Northern Corn Belt

  1. Joseph L. Pikul *,
  2. Leslie Hammack and
  3. Walter E. Riedell
  1. USDA-ARS, Northern Grain Insects Res. Lab., 2923 Medary Ave., Brookings, SD 57006


Crop rotation may improve production efficiency and reduce fertilizer N requirements for corn (Zea mays L.). Objectives were to determine effect of rotation and N on corn yield, efficiency of water use (WUE) and N use (NUE), and corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) beetle populations (CR). Rotations (started in 1990) were continuous corn (CC), corn–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] (CS), and a 4-yr rotation of corn–soybean–spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) companion-seeded with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)–alfalfa hay (CSWA). Nitrogen treatments for corn were corn fertilized for a grain yield of 8.5 Mg ha−1 (highN), 5.3 Mg ha−1 (midN), and no N fertilizer (noN). Average yield (1992–2003) was greatest (p = 0.003) under CS and highN (7.0 Mg ha−1). Yield differences (p = 0.001) among rotations increased with decreased fertilizer N. Average (1992–2003) yield with noN fertilizer was 5.8 Mg ha−1 under CSWA, 4.5 Mg ha−1 under CS, and 2.8 Mg ha−1 under CC. Nitrogen use efficiency differed (p = 0.096) only under midN with CSWA = CS > CC. Soil water (upper 1.8 m) for corn measured on 1 June (average of N treatments) was 55, 54, and 45 cm for CC, CS, and CSWA, respectively. For CSWA under highN, available water limited yield in 3 of 6 yr. At highN, CR adult populations were greater under CS compared with CC and greater at higher N fertilizer levels within CC. Rotations have potential to improve production efficiency; however, there is potential for reduced corn yield after alfalfa due to less available soil water.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2005. American Society of AgronomyAmerican Society of Agronomy