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SWEEP Report #59

Evaluation of 58 Commercial Corn Hybrids (2850 to 3450 C.H.U.)
in Two Conservation Tillage Systems Compared to Conventional
Tillage in Kent County, Southwestern Ontario

Researchers: 
G. Scheifele, Ridgetown College of Agricultural Technology, Ridgetown, Ont., J. Rigby, Blenheim Ont., and D. Smith, Thamesville Ont., (Farmer Cooperators) and H. Hope, Plant Research Centre, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Ont.

Executive Summary

Evaluation Summary (Tech. Transfer Report Summaries)

View / Download Final Report [104 KB pdf] (appendix not included)

Associated SWEEP/LSP Research

 

 

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Completed: June, 1992

Key Words:

corn hybrids, tillage, conservation tillage, no-till, residue, soil moisture, soil temperature, time to coleoptile emergence, yield, cold tolerance, ridge till, crop growth

Executive Summary

Various forms of mulch tillage systems, whether minimum, no-till (zone-tillage) or ridge-till, have increased rapidly in acreage across southwestern Ontario for corn production. Increased surface residue cover at planting time and earlier planting have been associated with both cooler seedbed environments and slower soil warming which have been shown to delay seed germination, emergence and crop development. It has been suggested that in a conservation tillage system uniquely different environmental stresses exist, requiring corn hybrids with attributes uniquely different from those for conventional tillage systems. Currently all of the O.C.C. corn performance trial data is collected from conventional tillage systems insuring natural environmental stresses be maintained at a minimum.

Research from U.S.A. and Ontario has suggested that corn hybrids which perform well in conventional tillage systems may not perform satisfactorily under conservation tillage systems associating this difference to stresses due to increased residue and colder seedbed environment. Preliminary studies supported by TED and conducted by P.R.C. (Hope and Maamari) suggest the potential of developing a cold tolerance predictor for field emergence under conservation tillage management systems using the time to production of a 1 cm coleoptile under laboratory controlled cold (11 C until 1 cm coleoptile growth occurred) conditions.

The research reported in this report was initiated in 1991 at R.C.A.T. as a minimum 2-year study in co-operation with two local conservation tillage farming systems, Douglas Smith (ridge/strip) and Jack Rigby (zone-till). Fifty-eight corn hybrids from 18 seed companies were selected from the O.C.C. performance list which ranged from 2850 CHU to 3400 CHU and indexed 100 or better for yield in 1989 and 1990 O.C.C. performance trials. The hybrids were grouped into 3 maturity trials. Twenty-six in Early Season (2850-3050 CHU); 12 in Full Season (3075-3200 CHU); and 20 in Late Season (3300-3425 CHU). Each conservation tillage trial is being compared to the trial planted adjacent in a conventional tillage system. Seed from the same seed lot of each hybrid tested was made available to Hope at P.R.C. for cold tolerance predictor determination studies and also stored for 1992 field testing. Measured variables were: residue density, soil moisture, soil temperature, air temperature, time to coleoptile emergence, time to development of V-1 to V-5 leaves, percent emergence at V-3, percent final stand at harvest, days to 50% pollen shed and silk emergence, percent broken stalks, harvest grain moisture and grain yield.

The 1991 data is summarized within this report. The spring and early summer growing conditions for 1991 were unusually hot and dry failing to produce the required conditions to evaluate cold tolerance for emergence and early growth data. Consequently, the study will need to be continued a minimum of 2 more years (1992 and 1993) before field emergence data can be used to verify the usefulness of the Hope cold tolerance predictor for field emergence. The field data in this report is only one year's data from a very unusual growing season. This is considered a preliminary progress report and conclusions must not be made from such unusual and limited data.

The study is in progress for 1992 and 1993 with partial funding for 1993. In 1992, 28 new hybrids have been added for the field evaluation in separate trials under all four tillage systems. Seed from the same seed lots of these hybrids was sent to Hope at P.R.C. for cold tolerance testing.

 

Evaluation Summary

(From Technology Transfer Report Summaries - A. Hayes, L. Cruickshank, Co-Chairs)
This study presents one year's data from a study that is to continue for another 2 years. Fifty- eight corn hybrids from 18 seed companies were selected from the Ontario Corn Committee performance list and grown in side-by-side no-till/ridge till versus conventional till plots. Seed from each seed lot tested was made available to Dr. H. Hope for cold tolerance predictor determination studies. Variables measured in this study included: % residue, soil moisture, soil temperature, air temperature, time to coleoptile emergence, time to development of V-1 to V-5 leaves, percent emergence at V-3, percent final stand at harvest, days to 50% pollen shed and silk emergence, percent broken stalks, harvest grain moisture and yield.

The 1991 data is summarized in this report but because of the hot, dry growing conditions the required conditions needed to evaluate cold tolerance for emergence and early growth did not occur making it difficult to draw any conclusions. Two more years of data will be needed before drawing any conclusions or making recommendations.

Comments:

This research has the potential to be very useful but as mentioned in the report more data is needed to make any recommendations. Correlation of the field trials to the lab tests are very important because hybrids could be removed from the recommended list before a field test could be completed.

Associated SWEEP/LSP Research:

  • SWEEP Report #22 - Field Emergence Predictors for Grain Corn Under No-Till Management
  • SWEEP Report #56 - Yield Reduction Effects of Crop Residues in Conservation Tillage

Future Research: ( ) indicates reviewers suggestion for priority, A - high, C - low.

(A) Continue this study for another 2 years and correlate it to Dr. H. Hope's laboratory work to develop recommendations for corn hybrid selection for no-till growing conditions.

 

 

 

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Created: 05-28-1996
Last Revised: Thursday, May 19, 2011 04:20:01 PM