Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

Dr. Chad D. Lee

Second Advisor

Dr. J. D. Green

Abstract

Corn or maize (Zea mays L.) has been grown in North America for many centuries, and an increase in corn production will continue to be needed. Agriculture producers must meet the demands of feeding and providing for an increasing population of people. In order to meet those needs, different production practices are being investigated as a way to increase grain yield.

Field plots were conducted across the state of Kentucky in 2011 and 2012 to evaluate the interaction between hybrid, row width, and plant density on corn yield. The primary objectives were to test if 1) narrower rows increase grain yield, 2) higher plant densities increase yield in narrow and twin rows, and 3) the interactions among all factors. Three hybrids were evaluated in three row widths (76, 38 cm or twin) at target densities ranging from 74 000 to 124 000 plants ha-1. Interactions between hybrid, row width, and plant density occurred; however, effects on grain yield and plant physiological characteristics were small and variable across all environments. Plant density had the greatest impact on IPAR and grain yield.

Field trials were conducted near Lexington and Princeton, Kentucky in 2011 and 2012 to evaluate the effects of row width on different weed management treatments in corn. The objectives were to 1) evaluate five weed management methods in three row widths (76, 38 cm or twin) and 2) estimate the effect of these practices on corn yield. Herbicides used within each weed management strategy included the residual herbicide S-metholachlor + atrazine (1.4 + 1.8 kg/ha) applied preemergence (PRE) and/or glyphosate (0.86 kg/ha) postemergence (POST). Weed management treatments consisted of a PRE only, PRE followed by POST, POST only, POST + PRE, and an untreated control. Row spacing had little effect on weed suppression and control except for two cases. In general, PRE followed by POST and POST + Residual treatments controlled weeds better compared to PRE only and POST only treatments. Corn yields were higher when a herbicide was used compared to applying no herbicide application.

KEYWORDS: Row spacing, Plant Density, Corn Hybrids, Weed Management, Herbicide Application Timing

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