Evaluation of Fertilizer Placement and Timing in Continuous Corn in Three Long-Term Tillage Systems

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Start Date: 2012

Principal Investigator: Daniel Kaiser

Organization: University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water and Climate

Status: Ongoing

Background Information:

A few years ago, economics favored a shift to more corn on corn acres for many growers in southern Minnesota. Increased residue levels in continuous corn, however, led to an increasing number of growers to shift back to more aggressive tillage practices, such as using the moldboard plow. Long-term tillage trials in continuous corn, conducted in southern Minnesota from 2008 to 2011, evaluated the effects of strip tillage (a conservation tillage system), a moderately aggressive tillage system (i.e., chisel plow or a disk rip/V-rip), and moldboard plow on corn yield and profitability.

 

When yield differences were found among tillage systems in a given site and year, yields from using the moldboard plow system were consistently higher than in strip tillage. To help determine whether tillage effects on yield in continuous corn can be reduced or eliminated by changing fertilizer management practices, this study evaluated the effect of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) application methods as well as nitrogen (N) application timing on corn yield and profitability when corn is planted in a continuous-corn rotation under three long-term tillage systems.

Key Findings:

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