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ARS Home » Plains Area » Akron, Colorado » Central Great Plains Resources Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #201535

Title: Skip-Row Planting as a Drought Avoidance Strategy in the West Central Great Plains

item Vigil, Merle
item Henry, William
item Nielsen, David
item Calderon, Francisco
item Benjamin, Joseph
item Klien, Robert

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2006
Publication Date: 11/14/2006
Citation: Vigil, M.F., Henry, W.B., Nielsen, D.C., Calderon, F.J., Benjamin, J.G., Klien, R. 2006. Skip-Row Planting as a Drought Avoidance Strategy in the West Central Great Plains. Agronomy Abstracts. Presented at the National American Society of Agronomy Meetings/Soil Science Society of America (ASA/SSSA)Annual Meetings. November 13-16, 2006. Indianapolis, IN.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Central Great Plains Region is a net importer of feed grains. This market provides an incentive to develop stable dryland corn and sorghum yields. The lack of adequate moisture during silking/pollen shed is a major limitation to dryland feed-grain production in the region. Here we investigate strategies to circumvent the water limitation during silking/pollen shed using a “skip-row” technique. The idea here is that a wider row arrangement changes the timing of soil-water availability and use. Three alternative planting schemes were investigated and compared to planting in conventional 0.76m rows. These were plant 2 rows, skip 2 rows (P2S2); plant 1, skip 1 (P1S1); and a plant 2, skip 1 (P2S1). Plots were seeded with a roundup ready hybrid in 2004 and in 2005. Variable plant population was also investigated in combination with alternative planting arrangements. There exists a trend for the alternative planting arrangements to yield higher than conventionally planted corn and sorghum. The effect is not always statistically significant. In a preliminary analysis, it seems as though the alternative planting arrangements are showing an advantage if you are in the 40-70 bushel yield range, but do not show a disadvantage or an advantage if yields potentials are greater than this up to at least 90 bushels. An analysis of these data would suggest, that the alternative planting arrangements show potential for greater yields in dryer areas and/or in dry years where yields are less than 70 bushel.