Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Calibrating corn production in potato country

Date:
August 15, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Scientists are studying soil moisture levels and other field dynamics to help Pacific Northwest farmers maximize the production of corn, a relatively new regional crop that helps support Idaho's growing dairy industry.

ARS scientists have found that some Pacific Northwest farmers can increase corn yields by using strip tillage and banding fertilizer instead of conventional tilling. Strip tillage and banding involves excavating a single row for planting about 6 to 12 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep with a knife-like shank that can also inject fertilizer directly below the seed.
Credit: David Tarkalson, ARS.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are studying soil moisture levels and other field dynamics to help Pacific Northwest famers maximize the production of corn, a relatively new regional crop that helps support Idaho's growing dairy industry.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists David Tarkalson and David Bjorneberg conducted a 2-year study to see if farmers who use conventional tillage and fertilizer application methods could increase corn yields by banding fertilizer with strip tillage instead. Both scientists work at the ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Farmers using strip tillage make just one pass through fields to excavate a single row for planting -- around 6 to 12 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep -- with a knife-like shank that can also inject fertilizer directly below the seed. This single pass also pushes crop residues away from the tilled row, but the residues still remain on the soil surface.

Tarkalson and Bjorneberg studied corn yields from two fields for two years. In both years, one of the study areas was located at the top of an eroded slope, and the other was located at the bottom of a slope where the soils eroded from higher elevation had accumulated.

The scientists used either strip tillage or conventional tillage to sow the corn seeds. They also fertilized the fields either with broadcast applications of nitrogen and phosphorus or by using the strip-till shank to add subsurface bands of phosphorus and nitrogen when the seeds were planted.

The scientists found that using strip tillage and placing fertilizers 6 to 8 inches directly below the seed increased corn grain yields on the higher elevations--where severely eroded soils were largely devoid of crop nutrients--by 12 percent the first year and 26 percent the second year. This translated into yield increases between 11 and 26 bushels per acre.

Results from this work, which were published in 2010 in Crop Management, support the USDA priority of promoting international food security.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Calibrating corn production in potato country." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815095731.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, August 15). Calibrating corn production in potato country. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815095731.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Calibrating corn production in potato country." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815095731.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins