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Title:Maximizing corn yield potential through proper rate, placement, and timing of nitrogen fertility
Author(s):Wiegmann, Benjamin James Herbert
Advisor(s):Below, Frederick E
Contributor(s):Mulvaney, Richard L; Brown, Howard M
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Corn (Zea mays L.) has been a large part of American agriculture dating back to 1000 BC when flint corn arrived from Mexico, followed by dent corn in 1500 AD. Over the years, the improvement in these cultivars with better breeding methods and genetics in combination with crop management factors has led to ever-greater corn yields. These crop management factors include: hybrid, planting population, nitrogen (N) fertility, additional nutrient fertility, and foliar protection; and used together can increase grain yield by more than 100 bushels/acre. Nitrogen has the largest impact on corn productivity and one of the biggest decisions farmers make every year is determining their N fertility program. For these reasons, the objective of this research was to determine how N management practices can be implemented to improve corn productivity, and the thesis focused on two research areas: Utilizing Sub-Surface Drip Irrigation to Supply In-Season N and its Effect on Corn Productivity Nitrogen applied preplant helped to maximize the yield potential and increase kernel number by promoting a strong start to the growing season. Supplying N in-season through fertigation further increased corn productivity by promoting N accumulation and helped extend the growing season by maintaining leaf photosynthetic activity. The combination of preplant N and in-season N led to the greatest yields among the treatments by not only increasing kernel number, but also by producing heavier kernels as a result of limiting crop stress and supplying the mineral nutrition to the crop as needed. Combining Hydra-Hume with Side-Dress N Applications to Improve N use and Productivity of Corn Split applications of N, in addition to the different methods of split application (Y-drop or coulter) were compared to applying all the N fertilizer preplant to determine which method or timing had the greatest impact on corn productivity. The split applications of N tended to yield slightly higher than when all N was applied preplant. However, the greatest yields were achieved by split-applying N with a V6 side-dress coulter of 28% urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) down the center of the row in combination with the liquid formulation of a humic acid called Hydra-Hume.
Issue Date:2020-04-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Benjamin Wiegmann
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-26
Date Deposited:2020-05

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