Corn Seed Vigor Effect on No-Tillage Field Performance. II. Plant Growth and Grain Yield
- D. M. TeKrony ,
- D. B. Egli and
- D. A. Wickham
No-till planting of corn (Zea mays L.) seed may result in delayed germination and slower seedling growth. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of seed vigor on plant growth and yield of corn planted in various surface residues without tillage. 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 early, midseason, and late planting dates in 1982 and 1984. Vegetative plant weight, plant height, and leaf area were measured at the four-collar leaf stage and at 50% silking. Grain yield was measured at maturity. The weight, leaf area, and height of plants from the low-vigor seed lots were consistently less than plants from the high-vigor seed lots in all treatments at the four-collar stage. Similar trends were seen at silking; however, the differences were much smaller and usually not significant. In most cases, seed vigor had no effect on grain yield. The few treatment combinations with reduced yields for the low-vigor seed lots also had reduced seedling emergence. Thus, there was no direct effect of seed vigor on yield; however, the effect of seed vigor on seedling emergence can affect yield if less-than-optimum plant populations are obtained.
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