Corn Seed Vigor Effect on No-Tillage Field Performance. I. Field Emergence
- D. M. TeKrony ,
- D. B. Egli and
- D. A. Wickham
Delayed seed germination and slow seedling growth commonly occur following no-till planting of corn (Zea mays L.) seed. This investigation was conducted to evaluate the effect of seed vigor on seedling emergence under a wide range of no-tillage soil environments. Four seed lots of B73 ✕ Mol7, which had good germination (88-98%) but a range in seed vigor, were no-till planted into soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea L.) sod, and corn residue at three planting dates in 1982 to 1984. Stress (low soil temperature and high soil moisture) occurred at the early planting date (mid-April) in 2 of 3 yr, while near-ideal soil conditions occurred at the other planting dates. Maximum soil temperatures at the early planting date following no-tillage into wheat stubble and corn stalks were similar to conventional tillage, but much greater than no-tillage into tall fescue sod. The low- and medium-vigor seed lots had consistently lower emergence than high-vigor seed lots in all tillage systems and planting dates. Emergence following conventional tillage was consistently greater than emergence following all no-tillage treatments; however, this difference was significant only at the early planting date in 1982 and 1983. Under the stress conditions that occurred in the early planting date in 1982 and 1983 following no-tillage, the high-vigor seed lots had significantly greater emergence than low-vigor seed lots. Thus, selecting seed lots with high germination and vigor would be beneficial for early plantings in no-tillage systems.
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