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Title:Analysis of management factor contributions to high-yielding corn production systems
Author(s):Henninger, Adam
Advisor(s):Below, Frederick E.
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This study suggests that a system of synergies is created when these five agronomic management factors are combined.
Abstract:Five agricultural management factors were tested in an “omissions treatment” experiment conducted in central Illinois to assess their individual and cumulative contribution to a high-yield corn production system. The five management factors (non-nitrogen (N) fertility, N fertility, hybrid trait, plant population, and fungicide application) were evaluated by establishing 2 levels (traditional and advanced) of each factor. Twelve total treatments consisted of a High Technology (HT) treatment (all advanced factors combined), a Traditional (TRAD) treatment (all traditional factors combined), five treatments of the HT system with each factor individually replaced with its traditional-level counterpart, and five treatments of the TRAD system with each factor individually replaced with it advanced-level counterpart. During years with good season-long growth conditions, like 2009, increased plant population and additional nitrogen (N) fertilizer were the critical factors for increasing crop yield, pushing the system to produce the maximum yield of 14.5 Mg ha-1. In high-stress years, like 2010, plant health factors, like strobilurin fungicide and corn rootworm-resistant hybrids, was most important by protecting crop yield potential. This data also suggests that plasticity of the corn plant provides flexibility for the plant to adjust its allocation of resources in response to environmental conditions, resulting in a lower probability that increasing plant populations will reduce yields in a bad year relative to the probability that it will increase yields in a good year. Although there were no net differences in grain quality between the HT and TRAD systems, N fertility, plant population, and fungicide application affected kernel protein and oil concentration relative to the other management factors tested. This study suggests that a system of synergies is created when these five agronomic management factors are combined. The results of this 2-year study suggest that corn yields of 13-16 Mg ha-1 are consistently achievable under non-irrigated conditions in the absence of drought when the high-yielding factors tested here are combined.
Issue Date:2012-05-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Adam Henninger
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-22
Date Deposited:2012-05

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