Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 74
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74 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
Advantages of mulch tillage with corn
Corn yields close to average have resulted from use of the mulch
tillage planter by the Illinois station-89 bushels compared to 95
bushels per acre by the conventional method, both with 66 pounds of
applied nitrogen and about 12,000 plants per acre. Advantages of
mulch planting are: The farmer has to go over his fields only once
compared with four or five times with the conventional method, and
ground cover remains up to the time of the first cultivation, thus
conserving soil and improving its physical condition.
Intercropping wide corn rows promising
The Ohio station finds promising the practice of planting corn in
wide rows (70 inches apart) and sowing wheat or legume crops between
them. When soil and weather are good enough to produce 75 bushels
of corn per acre, rows 50 inches apart will yield as high as rows 30 or
40 inches apart, provided the number of plants per acre are alike and
adequate. The economical practice, the station concludes, is to plant
an adequate number of plants of a midseason or full-season adapted
hybrid in 70-inch rows, seed wheat on the hessian-fly-free date in
unharvested corn, or plant plow down or meadow crops between corn
rows in summer, and delay corn harvest until the crop is in proper
Manure at planting maintains yields
Corn receiving manure (8 tons) or straw (2 tons) at planting time
at the Ohio station (coop. USDA), made as good yields as corn on land
where manure was plowed under; soil loss was reduced to about 1 ton
per acre; and rain runoff was cut in half. When manure was applied
soon after planting and 2,4-D to keep down weeds, and no cultivation
wasgiven, corn yielded 95.1 bushels per acre; the same treatment
plus one cultivation averaged 107.7 bushels. The ordinary manure
spreader did not damage corn in 42-inch rows. Need for more plants
per acre could be met by closer spacing in the row.
Nitrogen good for continuous corn
The Ohio station also found that plowing down 100 pounds of elemental
nitrogen per acre with continuous corn boosted yields to 70
bushels even after 7 to 9 years of continuous corn crops; with a good
rotation-corn, oats, and sweetclover-orchardgrass combination,
yields went much higher. The station points out that low-grade
organic matter plus nitrogen often can do as much for soil fertility
as high nitrogen sod from legumes.
Nitrogen for corn best in complete fertilizer
The Virginia station found that nitrogen could be applied to advantage
in the complete fertilizer at or before corn planting on the
heavier soils, such as Davidson clay loam, and thus eliminate the
costly and time-consuming practice of side-dressing nitrogen when
corn is 12 to 15 inches tall. Plant stand and number of ears were
slightly greater at harvest, whereas moisture content was slightly less
with the nitrogen in the complete fertilizer.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/76/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.