Effect of Planting Date on Short-Statured Corn Products

TRIAL OBJECTIVE

  • Short stature corn is a new corn breeding innovation that will be part of the Bayer Preceon™ Smart Corn System* with a targeted commercial introduction in the United States set for 2024. The product concept for short stature corn is to provide high yielding hybrids with reduced internode distances (area between leaves) that can result in shortened plant height. Short stature corn will typically have a target height of seven feet and target ear height at least two feet above the soil level.
  • The objective of these studies was to determine how planting date and tillage method affect ear height and grain yield of short stature corn products. 

 

RESEARCH SITE DETAILS

LocationGothenburg, NE   
Soil Type Hord silt loam  

Previous
Crop
Soybeans  
Tillage
Type
Strip-tillage and no-till  


 
Planting DateVaried  
Harvest Date11/11/2022 & 11/14/2022 

Potential Yield
 (bu/acre)
250  
Seeding Rate
(seeds/acre)
34,000

 
  • There were two separate trials based on tillage practice.
    • Strip till
    • No-till planted into cover crops (ECO)
  • Each trial was arranged as a split plot design with three replications. The whole plot was planting date and sub-plot was corn product.
  • Six Bayer short stature corn* products were used in both trials:
    • 106 RM, 108 RM, 110 RM, 111 RM, 112 RM, and 113 RM
  • Each product was planted at five different planting dates in each trial.
    • April 15, April 28, May 12, May 27, and June 10
  • All products were planted in 30-inch rows at 34,000 seeds per acre.
  • Corn was fully irrigated throughout growing season for a total of 9 inches of applied irrigation.
  • The two tillage treatments (strip-till and ECO) represent the conditions in which the trial was planted into (Figure 1). The ECO trial was planted into cover crop residue that was terminated at the same day of corn planting to force stress on those plants and see the ear height dynamics (Figure 2).

* The Preceon™ Smart Corn System, including short stature corn developed through traditional breeding, is expected to be available, subject to final commercialization decisions, for planting in the 2024 growing season.

image Figure 1. Short stature corn planting date and products under strip-till (A) and ECO (B) tillage practices. Pictures were taken on 9/13/2022 at the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE.
image Figure 2. Short-stature corn 108 RM at different planting dates under ECO tillage practice. Pictures were taken on 7/1/2022 at the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center near Gothenburg, NE.
  • The strip-till trial was strip-tilled on 04/14/2022 and a base fertilizer application of 29 lbs of nitrogen (N/acre), 60 lbs of phosphorus (P/acre), 25 lbs of sulfur (S/acre), and 0.25 lbs Zinc (Zn/acre) strip-till applied. Later, the trial was side dressed with 150 lbs of nitrogen (N/acre).
  • The ECO trial was side dressed on 06/17/2022 with 150 lbs of N/acre, 60 lbs of P/acre, 25 lbs S/acre, and 0.25 lbs Zn/acre.
  • Weeds were addressed with herbicide application, but no specialty application was applied.
  • Total weight, test weight, and moisture content were collected with a plot combine to calculate yield per acre.

UNDERSTANDING THE RESULTS

  • The average ear height across planting dates for the ECO trial was 28.9 inches, whereas for the strip-till trial was 28.4 inches.
  • ·The later the planting date the higher the ear height under both tillage systems (Figure 3). Therefore, short-stature corn planted in April presented the lowest ear heights.
image Figure 3. Effect of planting date on short stature corn product ear height. the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE. 2022.
image Figure 4. Effect of planting date on short stature corn product yield. the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE. 2022.
  • There was no correlation between ear height and yield in either tillage system.
  • The average grain yield under strip-till was 255.4 bu/acre compared to 211.9 bu/acre in the ECO trial. The highest yield achieved in the strip-till trial was when short stature corn* was planted on May 27th achieving 278.3 bu/acre; whereas, for the ECO trial it was when planted on May 12th at 237.6 bu/acre.
  • Generally, across all products, the highest yielding planting dates for the strip-till trial were May 12th and May 27th (Table 1), and for the ECO trial April 28th and May 12th (Table 2). Later planting dates (May 27th and June 10th) in the ECO trial likely were impacted by excessive cover crop growth causing plant stand reductions, soil N immobilization, and soil water use.
  • Average ear height, plant height, and yield by corn product across all planting dates are displayed below.

Table 1. Average ear height, plant height, and yield of corn products  across palnting dates with the strip-till method at the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE. 2022.

image

Table 2: Average ear height, plant heigh, and yield of corn products  across planting dates with the ECO tillage method at the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE. 2022.

image

KEY LEARNINGS

  • Short stature corn* ear height and yield was impacted by planting date and tillage method. For both trials, the ear height was higher when short stature corn was planted later in the spring. On average across hybrids, the ear height maintained the 24-inch product concept for each planting date and tillage method to maintain compatibility with standard harvest equipment. In regard to yield, the strip-till trial showed higher yields with late short stature corn planting whereas the ECO trial had higher yields when planted in mid-early spring possibly because of increased cover crop biomass accumulation in the late planting dates.
  • Cover crops increased ear height in short stature corn. However, further studies should evaluate different cover crop species and termination dates to understand not only the impact of cover crops on short stature corn ear height but also on grain yield.
  • Cover crops should be terminated timely when growing short stature or regular tall corn, especially if the cover crop is a grass winter-hardy species such as cereal rye.
  • Farmers should work with their local seeds sales team members to help identify the best adapted short stature corn product for their production systems.

 * The Preceon™ Smart Corn System, including short stature corn developed through traditional breeding, is expected to be available, subject to final commercialization decisions, for planting in the 2024 growing season.

1210_219611

This browser is no longer supported. Please switch to a supported browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari.