Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2006
Publication Date: 7/11/2006
Citation: Vigil, M.F., Henry, W.B., Poss, D.J., Nielsen, D.C., Calderon, F.J., Benjamin, J.G., Klein, R. 2006. Skip-row Planting in the CGPR as a Drought Mitigation Strategy. Meeting Abstract. Presented at the 18th World Congress of Soil Science in Phildelphia, PA July 9-13, 2006. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The Central Great Plains region (CGPR) is a net importer of feed grains. Last year Eastern Colorado imported 47 million bushels (1.2 million Mg) of corn (Zea Maize) for beef feedlot use. This extensive market provides an incentive to develop sustainable dryland systems for feed grain production in the region. The lack of adequate moisture during silking/pollen shed is the major limitation to dryland feed production in the region. The skip-row method changes the timing of water use during the growing season. This stored water in the middle of the skip-row area becomes available to the plant as it grows larger and may provide a yield advantage under dryland semi-arid conditions. Here we compare alternative planting architecture with conventional planting as a drought mitigation strategy for dryland corn and sorghum (Sorghum Bicolor). Four alternative planting strategies are evaluated: plant two skip two (P2S2), plant one skip one (P1S1), plant two skip one (P2S1) and conventional planting on 0.76m rows (30 inch rows). The P2S2 and the P1S1 treatments performed better than conventional planting in 0.76m rows at the same population with respect to grain yield production for both corn and sorghum. We also measured soil water extraction patterns in these plots and found that the alternative plantings leave some water in the field in the middle of the skip-row area.