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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Conservation Systems Research for Improving Evnironmental Quality and Producer Profitability

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Corn grain and stover yield prediction at R1 growth stage

item Mourtizinis, Spyridon -
item Arriaga, Francisco -
item Balkcom, Kipling
item Ortiz, Brenda -

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 13, 2013
Publication Date: May 6, 2013
Repository URL:
Citation: Mourtizinis, S., Arriaga, F.J., Balkcom, K.S., Ortiz, B.V. 2013. Corn grain and stover yield prediction at R1 growth stage. Agronomy Journal. 105:1045-1050.

Interpretive Summary: In the Southeast US, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a crop grown during the winter when climate conditions are usually influenced by El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Therefore, an understanding of how management practices can be adjusted to reduce the impact of climate-related risks became important for winter wheat production. Scientists at Auburn University in cooperation with a scientist with USDA-ARS located at the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory studied the effect of planting date on grain yield and yield components of three winter wheat cultivars with different maturity levels. The study was conducted during 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012 at three sites that represented different wheat growing conditions in Alabama. Results showed that grain yield and yield components were reduced as planting date was delayed but the impact changed among years and locations within a given year. When the current recommended planting date was delayed four weeks, yield losses ranged from 13% (North Alabama, 2010-2011) to 53% (South Alabama, 2011-2012), but planting two weeks earlier resulted in yield increases up to 17%. For all cultivars, the impact of delayed planting on seed mass was minimal when cold and wet growing conditions were prevalent, however; cultivar differences increased under warm and dry growing conditions. Results from this study showed that the cultivar and planting date must be selected on a location basis and those can be adjusted by using a seasonal climate forecast.

Technical Abstract: Corn (Zea mays L.) grain and stover yield estimation early in the growing season is an appealing idea. An accurate estimation of the yield of the final product could benefit farmers, as well as corn related industries. The objective of this study was to develop prediction models that could estimate corn grain and stover yield at harvest using simple physiological measurements early in the growing season. The experiment was established at two locations in 2009, in central and north Alabama. It consisted of a 3x4x2 complete factorial design arranged in a split-splitplot. Factors were; winter rye (Secale cereale) cover crop (main plot), nitrogen (N) fertilization rates (sub-plot) and stover residue harvest (sub-sub-plot) replicated three times at each location. All measurements from this study, across years and locations, were used for the creation of the final regression equations in order to create robust prediction models. The regression was significant at early vegetative growth stages with the amount of explainable variability maximized at R1 stage. For the grain yield model, maximum R2 was 0.7967 and for the stover model maximum R2 reached 0.8612. This study suggests that total precipitation from planting until R1 growth stage, and simple physiological measurements can be used to predict corn grain and stover yield.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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