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Title:Innovative foliar micronutrient sources in high-yielding corn environments
Author(s):Bernhard, Brad Joseph
Advisor(s):Below, Frederick E.
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Under high-yield conditions, adequate nutrient availability often limits corn (Zea mays L.) growth and productivity. Nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and boron (B) accumulation mainly occurs before flowering compared to the uptake of phosphorus (P), sulfur (S), and zinc (Zn), which primarily occurs during grain-filling. Increased planting densities and hybrid selection create a high-yield potential in today's modern corn production systems, necessitating greater nutrient supply or efficiency. Limited plant remobilization and translocation of Zn requires greater root accumulation of Zn. Alternatively, peak demand for B occurs immediately prior to pollination and is subsequently remobilized from leaf tissues to developing reproductive organs (ear and tassel) during the initiation of reproductive growth. The objective was to quantify yield responses to foliar B and/or Zn nutrition when used in intensive corn production systems. The experiment was conducted at Champaign, IL in 2014 and 2015. Hybrids were evaluated at planting densities of 79,000, 94,000, and 109,000 plants ha-1. Treatment applications were designed to supply nutrients based on known patterns of nutrient accumulations and included a foliar B application of 72 g ha-1 using a chelated B source at V16 and a foliar Zn application of 202 g ha-1 using a chelated Zn source at R2 in 2014. In 2015, foliar B and/or Zn applications were made at the V6 and VT growth stages using the same rates as 2014. In no instance did foliar micronutrient applications significantly affect grain yield when averaged across both years. However, foliar Zn applications did significantly increase Zn accumulation by 13% when averaged across all three planting densities. Greatest yields were obtained with the "racehorse" hybrid (versus the "workhorse" hybrid), and higher populations in 2015. In modern corn production, greater planting densities provide the opportunity for increased grain yield and as a result, optimum nutritional management that includes foliar nutrient applications also becomes more important.
Issue Date:2016-04-27
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Brad Bernhard
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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