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Title:Enhancing mineral nutrient availability and corn productivity with biostimulants
Author(s):Woodward, Logan Patrick
Advisor(s):Below, Fred E
Contributor(s):Brown, Howard; Margenot, Andrew
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nutrient use
Abstract:Corn (Zea mays L.) production has greatly increased since corn was first domesticated some 7,000 years ago (Beadle, 1980). Generating improved cultivars with novel breeding schemes and genetics in combination with enhanced management factors and technologies has resulted in the highest corn grain yields to date. Some of the most important management factors that have been utilized are hybrid, planting population, nitrogen fertility, additional nutrient fertility, and foliar protection (Ruffo et al., 2015). In recent years, a new technology has been discussed, namely, biological products. These products have a wide variety of uses but are typically intended to increase crop growth, relieve crop stresses, enhance the availability of soil mineral nutrients, improve the accumulation of mineral nutrients, and ultimately increase yields. In an effort to better understand biological products and their best fit in an agronomic management system, the objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of two biological products regarding their optimal application to provide increased soil nutrient availability and enhanced fertilizer use in corn production. This research involved the following two areas: Utilizing a Microbial Enhancer to Improve Nitrogen Use and Corn Productivity Multiple application methods and timings of a microbial enhancer were applied in combination with differing rates of nitrogen (N) fertilizer to evaluate the responses in N availability and use by corn. Certain application methods resulted in improvements in N uptake and use efficiency corresponding with grain yield increases. When applied earlier in the growing season, the yield trajectory was enhanced, evidenced by more kernel production, while later application timings resulted in heavier kernels. Improving Fertilizer Use and Corn Productivity with a Phosphorus Solubilizing Bacteria Differing rates of N and phosphorus (P) fertilizer were used in combination with applications of a phosphorus solubilizing bacteria (PSB) to determine the effects of a PSB on accumulation of essential nutrients by corn plants. Phosphorus solubilizing bacteria applications enhanced the amount of available phosphorus in the soil, thereby increasing the amount of phosphorus accumulated in the plants. This enhancement in available P corresponded with increases in grain yield due to a higher production of kernels.
Issue Date:2020-07-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Logan Woodward
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08

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