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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Corn production in no-till and conventional tillage with poultry litter: a 5-yr data

Authors
item Endale, Dinku
item Schomberg, Harry
item Jenkins, Michael
item Cabrera, Miguel - UGA

Submitted to: Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2007
Publication Date: June 25, 2007
Citation: Endale, D.M., Schomberg, H.H., Jenkins, M., Cabrera, M.L. 2007. Corn production in no-till and conventional tillage with poultry litter: a 5-yr data. Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference.

Interpretive Summary: Corn production in the Southeast is erratic due to intermittent droughts and hot weather during the growing season. Thus, producers must rely upon irrigation in order to achieve economic yield. However, Increasing demand for corn to satisfy expanding poultry and livestock enterprises as well as biofuels production has resulted in more producers considering corn production. A plan for the largest bio-fuel (corn-to-ethnol) plant in the Southeast broke ground in early January 2007. The 36-million-bushel-a-year Mitchell County plant must purchase corn from the Midwest because not enough is grown locally. No-till-based crop production is one possible method to address this problem but quantified information is needed. Our recent 5-yr study, at the USDA-ARS J. Phil Campbell, Senior, Natural Resource Conservation Center, in Watkinsville GA, compared corn yield from no-till with conventional tillage using two sources of N, poultry litter and ammonium nitrate. No-till and poultry litter each enhanced corn yield by 11 to 18% over five years. Combined, they enhanced yield by 31% compared to yield from conventional tillage with ammonium nitrate. No-till increased infiltration two to three times thus increasing plant available water. Such crucial information will allow growers to capitalize on environmental and market opportunities existing in the Southeast for irrigated or dryland corn production and compete effectively in regional corn markets.

Technical Abstract: Corn production in the Southeast is erratic due to intermittent droughts and hot weather during the growing season. Increasing demand for corn to satisfy expanding poultry and livestock enterprises as well as biofuels production has resulted in more producers considering corn production. Our recent 5-yr study, at the USDA-ARS in Watkinsville GA, compared corn yield from no-till with conventional tillage using two sources of N, poultry litter and ammonium nitrate. No-till and poultry litter each enhanced corn yield by 11 to 18% over five years. Combined, they enhanced yield by 31% compared to yield from conventional tillage with ammonium nitrate. One way, therefore, to overcome traditional production and weather limitation in corn in the Southeast is to encourage adoption of no-till and/or poultry litter based production.

Last Modified: 10/26/2014
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