Corn Response to Rye Cover Crop, Tillage Methods, and Planter Options
- B. A. Raimbult,
- T. J. Vyn and
- M. Tollenaar
Studies in Ontario have shown that corn (Zea mays L.) yields are reduced when corn is seeded immediately after rye (Secale cereale L.) harvest or chemical kill of winter rye. A study was conducted in 1983 and 1984 on a Maryhill (Typic Hapludalf) loam soil to determine the effect of spring tillage systems and timing of rye chemical kill on the subsequent corn crop. The rye was seeded in early October after corn silage harvest. The tillage treatments consisted of (i) moldboard plow plus secondary tillage, (ii) strip tillage, (iii) notillage with ripple coulters (iv) no-tillage with disc furrowers plus plow coulters, and (v) no-tillage with ripple coulters plus plow coulters. The rye kill treatments were early (2 wk before planting) or late dust prior to corn planting). Corn whole-plant yields averaged 13.6 and 12.4 Mg ha−1 for early and late rye kill, respectively. Corn yield in the moldboard plow treatment was higher than in strip tillage and the average of no-till treatments; however, using disc furrowers produced yields equal to those with the moldboard plow treatment. Moving the residue out of the row with disc furrowers no-till treatments with ripple coulters. The improvement in plant growth due to an early rye kill (as opposed to a late rye kill) was often greater with the conservation tillage systems relative to the moldboard plow treatment. A crop production system is proposed involving chemical control of a winter rye cover crop 2 wk before corn planting and planting the corn with a modified no-till system that removes rye residue from the row area.
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