Tillage not found to affect plant space uniformity

Encyclopedia Article

Tillage systems impact early season growth and development; but do they also impact plant spacing uniformity? University of Nebraska research in 2001 investigated this along with the effect of crop rotation (continuous corn and corn-soybean).

The trial

Three replicates of three irrigated tillage systems were monitored. The three tillage systems were: conventional tillage (disk-plant); ridge till; and slot plant. Each plot was subdivided into corn following corn and corn following soybeans. Two JD 7300 planters were used. Target seeding rate was 29,000 seeds/acre. Four measures based on theoretical spacing were determined for each treatment.

What were the results?

Plant spacing accuracy and yields were similar between the ridge till and slot plant tillage systems (Table 1). The tillage system was not found to have a significant effect on yield. Crop rotation also had virtually no effect on planter accuracy or grain yield in 2001 (data not shown in table).

Table 1. Measures of plant spacing accuracy and grain yield for two tillage systems averaged over cropping sequence (for planter with Buffalo ridge cleaner attachments). Univ. of Nebraska, 2001.

Tillage system D % M % A % C % Grain yield (bu/acre)
Ridge till 5.9* 12.2 81.8 22.1 209
Slot plant 7.3 13.2 79.5 22.3 206
Conventional till 5.0 9.9 85.2 21.6 213
* Ridge till and slot plant means within columns of this table are not different (P < 0.05).
D = multiples index M = miss or skip index
C = precision A = quality of feed index

Overall Conclusion

Plant spacing accuracy and yield were similar among tillage and crop rotation systems.

Text is taken from a Crop Watch article (University of Nebraska extension newsletter) written 17 May 2002 by Roger Elmore.

Iowa State University Agronomy Extension Corn Production