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Can corn benefit from social distancing?


Often, corn planted after a cereal rye cowl crop could have lowered yields. Proposed causes for this yield decline embrace allelopathy, seedling illness, nitrogen immobilization and poor planter efficiency. In our lab, we’re inquisitive about understanding how seedling illness and allelopathy contribute to corn yield decline to develop finest administration practices for rising corn after a cereal rye cowl crop. We are going to save the allelopathy story for one more weblog, and deal with seedling illness on this weblog.

Corn seedling illness pathogens survive within the roots of cereal rye. We puzzled if planting corn at a distance from a cereal rye crop, in different phrases “social distancing” the 2 crops, would possibly cut back seedling illness and mitigate yield loss.

In 2019 and 2020, with funding from the Iowa Nutrient Analysis Middle, we investigated the impact of “social distancing” on corn planted after a winter cereal rye cowl crop. To do that we planted cereal rye in three spatial preparations (therapies) and in contrast corn progress and improvement, seedling illness and yield of corn among the many three therapies and a no cowl crop management. We (i) broadcasted cereal rye, (ii) drilled cereal rye in three 7.5” rows within the corn interrow and (iii) drilled one row of cereal rye within the corn interrow. Thus, when corn was no-till planted, the corn was 0”, 7.5” and 15” away from the cereal rye residue (Determine 1).


Desk 1 summarizes our outcomes. In 2019, corn seedlings have been shortest when corn was planted 0” from cereal rye residue and tallest when the corn was planted 15” from the cereal rye residue. Corn shoot top didn’t differ among the many therapies in 2020. Corn seedlings have been most vigorous (roughly half a progress stage forward and heavier) within the no cowl crop management and when corn was planted 15” from the cereal rye residue in comparison with the corn planted inside the cereal rye residue. Normally, seedling illness was low and didn’t differ amongst therapies in 2019. In 2020, nevertheless, illness was extra extreme in seedlings planted inside the cereal rye residue and seven.5” from the cereal rye residue than seedlings planted following no cowl crop or planted 15” from cereal rye residue. In 2020, extra barren vegetation have been noticed in corn planted into cereal rye residue in comparison with the opposite therapies.  In each years, corn yield usually decreased as corn was planted nearer to cereal rye residue.

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These knowledge recommend that bodily distancing the corn crop from the cereal rye cowl crop is one option to cut back the unfavorable results of a winter rye cowl crop on corn. As precision planting turns into extra widespread on Iowa farms, it’s attainable farmers might intentionally seed a winter cereal rye cowl crop within the interrows to bodily separate the cereal rye from the corn rows planted the next season. Notice nevertheless, on this examine we didn’t examine the consequences of social distancing corn from cereal rye residue on the ecological providers {that a} rye cowl crop gives. A main motive for rising cowl crops is to guard soil and enhance water high quality. Different causes embrace weed administration and bettering soil well being. Since much less floor is roofed when a single row of cereal rye is seeded in 30-inch rows, there’s extra naked floor that could be topic to erosion, lowered infiltration and weed institution. Furthermore, the cereal cowl crop could seize much less nitrate, leading to extra leaching and lowered enchancment in water high quality. Additional research to know the consequences of winter cereal rye spacing preparations on erosion, water high quality, and weed management are wanted.

Supply: Iowa State Collegewhich is solely accountable for the knowledge supplied and is wholly owned by the supply. Informa Enterprise Media and all its subsidiaries are usually not accountable for any of the content material contained on this info asset. 



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