Corn Product Response to Irrigation and Population

Trial Overview

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  • With the increase in13;10;limited irrigation due to reductions in pumping capacity or restrictions on the13;10;amount of water producers are able to pump over a certain period of time, it is13;10;imperative that Monsanto tests products under varying irrigation rates to13;10;supply better corn product recommendations by irrigation level.
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Research Objective

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  • The objective of this study13;10;was to determine the yield response of key DEKALB® brand corn products for the13;10;region based on planting population and irrigation amount.
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13;10;Location 13;10;
13;10;Soil Type 13;10;
13;10;Previous Crop 13;10;
13;10;Tillage Type 13;10;
13;10;Planting Date 13;10;
13;10;Harvest Date 13;10;
13;10;Potential Yield 13;10;
13;10;Planting Rate 13;10;
Mingo, KS
Sunflowers
Strip Till
05/10/2016
10/10/2016
Bethune, CO
Soybean
Strip Till
05/11/2016
10/13/2016
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13;10; Site Notes:13;10;

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Ten DEKALB® brand corn products were planted at13;10;24, 30, 36, and 42,000 seeds/acre (s/a) under 100% full irrigation (100% FI)13;10;and 50% of full irrigation (50% FI).  Each location was irrigated with a center pivot13;10;system with nozzles placed within the crop canopy.Corn products and planting rates were replicated13;10;three times under the 50% FI and 100% FI treatments.A corn stalk push test13;10;was conducted at the Mingo, KS location at crop maturity to serve as an13;10;indicator of stalk strength.At13;10;planting, both locations had 6 inches of plant available water in the top 313;10;feet of the soil profile.
13;10;For the Mingo, KS site: rainfall = 10.2 inches, ET = 28.0 inches, 50% FI = 7.0 inches, and 100% FI = 13.5 inches.For the Bethune, CO site: rainfall = 9.5 inches, ET = 23.4 inches, 50% FI = 3.5 inches, and 100% FI = 7.1 inches.Both locations received hailstorms throughout the13;10;season that limited the top-end yield potential.  The Mingo, KS location received hail at the13;10;R1 growth stage leading to roughly 30% defoliation.  The Bethune, CO location received hail at the13;10;V8, V14, and R3 growth stages leading to a total of 50% leaf defoliation.
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Understanding the Results

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Figure 1. Yields of DEKALB® corn brand blends13;10;from the 50% FI treatment averaged across the Mingo, KS and Bethune, CO sites
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Figure 2. Yields of DEKALB® corn brand blends from13;10;the 100% FI treatment averaged across the Mingo, KS and Bethune, CO sites
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  • For nearly all products,13;10;yields were greater in the 100% FI treatment versus the 50% FI treatment and13;10;yields were typically higher in the greater planting densities.
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  • Across all planting rates, the long-season13;10;products (110 RM and above) out yielded the earlier-season products (108 RM and13;10;below) by 15 bu/acre at the 50% FI treatment and 14 bu/acre at the 100% FI13;10;treatment.
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  • Under the 100% FI13;10;treatment, yields were maximized at 36,000 seeds/acre for most products.13;10;Highest yields were achieved with DKC60-67RIB, DKC60-88RIB, and DKC64-34RIB13;10;brand blends at the 100% FI treatment. Under the 50% FI treatment, where lower13;10;populations are desired, DKC55-20RIB, DKC60-67RIB, DKC61-54RIB, and DKC64-34RIB13;10;brand blends provided the highest yield per thousand plants at 24,000 to 30,00013;10;seeds/acre and were the top performers in that category.
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  • Stalk strength was significantly weakened this13;10;year due to hail and moisture stress. Stalk strength and stalk integrity were13;10;highest under the 100% FI treatment and the lower planting rates.
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  • The hail events may have13;10;contributed to some of the higher yields seen at the higher planting densities13;10;as the higher planting densities had more surviving leaf area after each hail13;10;event to capture sunlight.
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What Does This Mean for Your Farm

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  • Producers should carefully consider their corn13;10;product selection and planting rate based on their irrigation capabilities in13;10;each field in order to maximize their return.  
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  • While yield will typically increase with13;10;increased irrigation, producers should consider the costs of applying extra13;10;water against the potential profits from increased yield, especially when yield13;10;limiting conditions such as hail occur.
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  • Monsanto intends to continue these trials to13;10;evaluate corn product response to irrigation level and population under13;10;changing environmental conditions for the 2017 season.
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