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Title:Within-row spacing effect on individual corn plant yield
Author(s):Thompson, Tyler
Advisor(s):Nafziger, Emerson D.
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Crop production
Within-row spacing
Spacing Variation
Kernel Weight
Kernel Number
Abstract:Past research has shown that modest non-uniformity of corn plant spacing has small, negative effects on grain yield. The extent to which this influence of distance to adjoining plants is due to compensatory yield adjustments is not known. In 2011 and 2012, high density stands in 76 cm rows were hand thinned to 74 130 plants ha-1 during early vegetative growth (V1-V2) to produce large variability in plant-to-plant, with-in row spacing. Individual ears were hand-harvested at physiological maturity after recording the distance of each plant to its nearest within-row neighbors. In 2011, there was no significant correlation between each plant’s individual space in the row and grain weight per plant (r = 0.0007 p = 0.60). In contrast, in 2012 there was a significant correlation (r = 0.12 p < 0.0001), and per-plant grain weight increased 2.5 g for each additional cm of space along the row. Plant spacing affected neither kernel weight nor kernel number per ear in 2011, but in 2012, kernel weight increased (by 2 mg) and kernel number (by 2.96 kernels per ear) for each additional cm of space occupied by a plant. The average per-plant grain yield was only slightly higher in 2011 (185 g) than in 2012 (180 g), but the pattern of weather was very different, with dry conditions late in 2011 and very dry conditions until after pollination in 2012, followed by late rainfall that helped grain fill. Thus while reducing variability of interplant spacing would seem to offer little benefit under good growing conditions, doing so under certain stress conditions might provide a yield benefit.
Issue Date:2014-01-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Tyler Thompson
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-01-16
Date Deposited:2013-12

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