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Title:Minimizing the continuous maize penalty through intense management
Author(s):Vogelzang, Kyle
Advisor(s):Below, Frederick E.
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
continuous maize
stover removal
strip tillage
Abstract:As maize prices escalate with increasing demand for grain resulting from recent legislation mandating renewable fuel production, more Midwest farmers are interested in producing maize continuously. Increasing or maintaining maize yield levels becomes a challenge in continuous maize systems due to the continuous maize penalty, a commonly-observed phenomenon in dryland agriculture systems characterized by 10 to 15% yield reductions when maize is grown continuously versus a soybean-maize rotation. Recent studies have indicated that stover accumulation in maize systems is a major factor influencing the continuous maize penalty. In addition to stover management, other agronomic management practices are known to enhance maize yields when used individually (e.g. fertilizer application, genetically-engineered traits, crop rotation). Some management practices have been shown to produce greater-than-additive yield effects when combined (e.g. fertilization and irrigation; increased plant population and fungicide application). This study examined the possibility of reducing or eliminating the continuous maize penalty through the use of stover removal, reduced tillage, and an addition/omission design of advanced crop inputs. Nitrogen (N) fertilizer, non-N fertilizer, hybrid trait, plant density, and fungicide were five management inputs used to create an addition/omission design. Additionally, partial stover removal and reduced tillage were examined for their effect on maize yield, the continuous maize yield penalty, and interactions with management inputs. Stover removal in the high technology system demonstrated the value of nutrients provided by maize stover and indicated that removed nutrients must be replaced with. Partial stover removal also greatly reduced the level of nutrient immobilization resulting from accumulated stover. Additionally, this study demonstrated that the rootworm resistance trait is vital in drought years. When farming continuous maize, removing stover is advantageous; however, crop nutrients removed with the stover must be replaced to take full advantage of the increased yield potential offered by stover removal in continuous maize systems.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Kyle Vogelzang
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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