Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 2005
Publication Date: November 6, 2005
Citation: Bauer, P.J., Stone, K.C., Busscher, W.J. 2005. Narrow-row corn production with sub-surface drip irrigation [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. CDROM. Technical Abstract: Sub-surface drip irrigation systems in the southeast USA are usually installed for crops with relatively high value such as vegetables. Lateral spacings of 90 cm or more are the norm. Corn (Zea mays L.) is commonly grown in rotation with these crops and narrow-row (<76 cm) corn production is gaining acceptance. Our objective was to determine the effectiveness of using sub-surface drip irrigation installed for crops with 1-m wide row spacing on corn grown in 0.38-m wide rows. Treatments were lateral spacing (1 m or 2 m) and irrigation pulse schedule (the same irrigation rate applied in one, two, or three equally spaced applications throughout a 24-hr period). Surface drip irrigation and rainfed plots (both with laterals installed at 1- and 2-m spacings for water and/or fertilizer N application) served as controls. All N fertilizer was applied through the laterals. The study was conducted in 2003 and 2004. Biomass and plant N were measured in five rows adjacent to each other within each plot at the sixth leaf stage and at silking. In the same five rows in each plot, ear length, grain weight per ear, and grain N content at harvest. Corn grain yield was determined from each plot. Grain yield did not differ among treatment combinations in either year. Average yield was approximately 5000 kg/ha each year. Biomass and plant N content tended to decrease with distance from a lateral, but these depended on lateral spacing and irrigation pulse schedule. Average ear size, kernel size, and grain N in the rows responded similarly to in-season biomass and N content. Planting patterns may need to be modified to optimize yield and resources for narrow-row corn with subsurface drip irrigation.