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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Research Project #434665

Research Project: Influence of Microbial Inoculated Corn Seeds on Crop Productivity and Yield Under Both Irrigated and Non-irrigated Conditions

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Project Number: 6010-11120-009-019-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 2, 2018
End Date: Mar 31, 2023

(1) To evaluate effects of microbial inoculated seeds (Bayer Product) on yield production in a no-till corn cropping system under different inorganic Nitrogen (N.) rates. (2) Determine the influence of the microbial inoculated seed under irrigation and non irrigated conductions.

Experimental Sites: A field study will be initiated at the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station’s E.V. Smith Research Center-Field Crops Unit (EVS) in Macon Country, Alabama, near Shorter, Alabama, (32° 26' N, 85° 52' W) and the Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center in Limestone County, near Belle Mina, Alabama, (34° 41' N, 86° 52' W). The climate conditions for the regions of the proposed field study locations are humid subtropical. The Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center location (north Alabama) tend to have cooler temperatures (16°C) and the E.V. Smith Research and Extension Center (south central Alabama) location (18°C); both locations have similar mean annual rainfall percentages (1370 mm). However, productivity of the soils at the locations are drastically different. The Tennessee Valley soil (silt loam) has higher organic matter, soil fertility, and water retention than that at E.V. Smith (loamy sand). Experimental Setup: The proposed study will consist of 18 treatments replicated four times under both irrigated and non-irrigated conditions. The irrigated portion of the study will be evaluated under a linear sprinkler irrigation system and the non-irrigated portion will be evaluated under natural rainfall conditions. Treatments will consist of three corn varieties (standard, Bayer poncho, and Bayer poncho ®/VOTIVO ® 2.0) and six incremental N rates. Nitrogen (N.) rates for the irrigated portion of the study will be: UAN (28-0-0-5) applied at 120, 160, 200, 240, and 280 lbs N ac-1 and an unfertilized control; Auburn University Soil Testing recommends up to 200 lbs N ac-1 for irrigated corn. Nitrogen rates for the non-irrigated portion of the study will be: UAN (28-0-05) applied at 80, 120, 160, 200, and 240 lbs N ac-1; Auburn University Soil Testing recommends 150 lbs N ac-1 for dryland corn production. Plant measurements will consist of evaluating, plant height, stem diameter, and chlorophyll content determined at approximately 30, 60 and 90 days after planting. Leaf transpiration, stomatal conductance, and CO2 gas exchange will be determined for some of the plots at R1 and R5. Leaf area, plant biomass, root pull force, and nutrient uptake (nitrogen) will be determined at physiological maturity (black layer). Once the corn reaches 16% moisture, it will be mechanical harvested with a combine to determine grain yield.