Submitted to: Corn Utilization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2012
Publication Date: 6/4/2012
Citation: Scully, B.T., Webster, T.M., Guo, B., Ni, X., Lee, R.D. 2012. Three year evaluation of corn production on narrow rows on the Southeastern Coastal Plain [abstract]. Corn Utilization Conference Proceedings.
Technical Abstract: With the use of hybrids with upright leaf architecture, and more sophisticated cropping systems there is an increased use narrow row production systems. Midwest and northern corn producers have begun to migrate to a 38 cm (15”) row spacing while southern cropping systems have considered a 46 to 61 cm (18”-24”) row spacing. The purpose of this research was to determine if narrow row corn production conveyed any yield advantage in the southeastern U.S., and to asses any changes in weed cover under different plant configurations. Experiments were designed to compare three population densities (47,880, 71,750, and 143,500 plants/ha) and two contrasting configurations within each population density, including: 1) 92 X 23 cm vs 46 X 46 cm; 2) 92 X 15 cm vs 46 X 30 cm; and 3) 92 X 8 cm vs 46 X 15 cm. Two corn hybrids including Dekalb ‘DK69-43’ and Pioneer ‘P31G97’ were grown for three years on the Coastal Plain of southern Georgia. Averaged over three years, corn yields on the 46 cm narrow rows were 5.5%, 9.5% and over 20%% higher than 92 cm standard row spacing across the low, medium and high planting densities, respectively. This yield increase is considerable higher than the 2.0% to 4.0% increases acquired in the Midwest Corn Belt and more closely aligned with 8.0% to 10.0% yield increases reported from Michigan and Minnesota. Weed ground cover was also influenced by all main effects including corn population density, row spacing, and hybrid. Higher population densities reduced weed cover significantly as did the 46 cm narrow row configuration, which closed canopy sooner than the standard 92 cm row spacing. Between the two hybrids, weed cover was significantly reduced under the canopy of P31G97 as compared to DK69-43.