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 Title Page
 Introduction
 Materials and methods
 Results and discussion
 Reference
 Data






Group Title: Research report - North Florida Experiment Station, University of Florida - NF 88-3
Title: Tropical corn as an alternate crop in the S.E. United States
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073729/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tropical corn as an alternate crop in the S.E. United States
Series Title: Research report
Physical Description: 15 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wright, D. L ( David L )
North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, Fla.)
Publisher: North Florida Research and Education Center
Place of Publication: Quincy Fla
Publication Date: 1988
 Subjects
Subject: Corn -- Field experiments -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Corn -- Varieties -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Crop rotation -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 8-9).
Statement of Responsibility: D.L. Wright ... et al..
Funding: Research report (North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, Fla.)) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073729
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 84000125

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Introduction
        Page 2
    Materials and methods
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Results and discussion
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Reference
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Data
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
Full Text
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0 ~6i


Tropical Corn as an Alternate Crop ,


in the S.E. United States


--I


D. L. Wright, I. D. Teare*, D. J. Zimet, and B. T. Kidd


Additional index words: Maize, Zea mays L., yield, water-use efficiency,
nitrogen-use efficiency, economics.





D. L. Wright, I. D. Teare, D. J. Zimet, and B. T. Kidd, North Florida Research
and Education Center, Quincy, FL 32351. Dept. of Agronomy and Dept. of Food
and Resource Economics, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Research Report NF-88-3.
Research supported in part by


I----


2~









INTRODUCTION

Much of the temperate corn grown in the S.E. Coastal Plain is dryland corn

and often subject to periods of drought of 6 to 8 weeks during April, May, and

early June which corresponds to the periods of fast vegetative growth, pollin-

ation and ear fill. Tropical corn hybrids have become available that have

satisfactory yields at moderate fertility (120 lb N/A) especially for use

during an alternate time (June-October) in the S.E. United States where there

is a need for a summer crop to follow wheat or other small grains that is

economically more productive than sorghum and is a good rotation crop for

soybeans. However, corn cultivars generally yield less than their temperate

counterparts (Yamaguchi, 1974; Muleba, et al., 1983) under high fertility,

temperate climate, low insect and disease intensities.

The objectives of this study were to: 1. determine if there was tropical

corn germplasm that produced satisfactory yields doubled-cropped after wheat

(no-till system), 2. compare the response of small grain followed by a trop-

ical hybrid corn grown during highest rainfall months (June-August) to a

temperate hybrid corn planted under dryland conditions in relation to yield,

disease and insect problems when grown with moderate fertility (120 lb N/A),

3. document the rainfall and air temperature patterns of the growing seasons

for the temperate and tropical hybrids over years, 4. determine the economic

yield of the double-crop system proposed as compared to dryland and irrigated

corn.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Tropical corn was planted no-till into winter wheat stubble with a Brown-

Hardin Ro-till planter-/ in 30 inch rows, following the harvest of Florida 302

wheat on 13 June 1985; 16 June 1986; and 24 June 1987. The two tropical



-/Brown Co., Ozark, Al 32630









INTRODUCTION

Much of the temperate corn grown in the S.E. Coastal Plain is dryland corn

and often subject to periods of drought of 6 to 8 weeks during April, May, and

early June which corresponds to the periods of fast vegetative growth, pollin-

ation and ear fill. Tropical corn hybrids have become available that have

satisfactory yields at moderate fertility (120 lb N/A) especially for use

during an alternate time (June-October) in the S.E. United States where there

is a need for a summer crop to follow wheat or other small grains that is

economically more productive than sorghum and is a good rotation crop for

soybeans. However, corn cultivars generally yield less than their temperate

counterparts (Yamaguchi, 1974; Muleba, et al., 1983) under high fertility,

temperate climate, low insect and disease intensities.

The objectives of this study were to: 1. determine if there was tropical

corn germplasm that produced satisfactory yields doubled-cropped after wheat

(no-till system), 2. compare the response of small grain followed by a trop-

ical hybrid corn grown during highest rainfall months (June-August) to a

temperate hybrid corn planted under dryland conditions in relation to yield,

disease and insect problems when grown with moderate fertility (120 lb N/A),

3. document the rainfall and air temperature patterns of the growing seasons

for the temperate and tropical hybrids over years, 4. determine the economic

yield of the double-crop system proposed as compared to dryland and irrigated

corn.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Tropical corn was planted no-till into winter wheat stubble with a Brown-

Hardin Ro-till planter-/ in 30 inch rows, following the harvest of Florida 302

wheat on 13 June 1985; 16 June 1986; and 24 June 1987. The two tropical



-/Brown Co., Ozark, Al 32630








hybrids used were DeKalb XL 560 and Pioneer X-304C in 1985, Pioneer X-304C in

1986 and 1987, at a population density of 24,500 pl/A in each year. In 1987,

Asgrow 5509 was planted on 24 March in a low fertility (120 lb N/A), non

irrigated and high fertility (250 Ib N/A), irrigated monocrop comparison with

double-cropped winter wheat and tropical corn [the tropical corn was planted

24 June and grown with low fertility (120 lb N/A) and non irrigation]. The

research was conducted at the North Florida Research and Education Center at

Quincy, FL on a Norfolk sandy loam soil (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic, Typic

Paleudult) under natural rainfall conditions. Herbicides used in the experi-

mental area were a tank mix of Aatrex @ 1 1/2 qts/A, Lasso @ 2 qts/A, Paraquat

@ 1 pt/A and a non-ionic surfactant (X-77) at 1 pt/100 gal mix to kill the

weeds (primarily morning glory) on date of planting. Ammonium polyphosphate

(10-34-0) was banded @ 10 gal/A as a starter fertilizer each year on one side

of the row and Furadan banded at 8#/A behind the planter wheel for insect

control each year.

In 1985, earworms were sprayed with Lannate on 8 July and 16 July @ 1 1/2

pt/A. In 1986, Lorsban 4E at 3 pts/A was applied for budworm control on 1

July. Nitrogen was sidedressed on tropical 120# N/A on 1 July 1985 (24-30

inches high), 120# N/A on 8 July 1986 (12 inches high), and 125# N/A on 22

July 1987 (12 inches high). A post directed spray 2,4-D @ 1/2/A + Paraquat @

1 pt/A was applied near mid July of each of the three years for weed control.

The temperate hybrid in 1987 had the same rate/120 lbs N/A sidedressed on

20 April, and 2,4-D and Paraquat as a directed spray 1 week later.

Tropical corn was harvested on 3 October, 21 October, and 27 October,

respectively in the three years from 2 rows 12 feet long. The temperate high

fertility and irrigated plots (hybrid Asgrow 5509) were harvested on 27 August

in 1987 from 2 rows 20 feet long while the low fertility and non irrigated

plots were harvested 4 August 1987 from 2 rows 12 feet long.








The State Performance Trials grown at Quincy also included the hybrid

Asgrow 5509 planted in a conventional seedbed on 26 March 1987 after a pre-

plant incorporation of Sutan @ 4.75 pts/A and Atrazine @ 2 qts/A. The corn

was fertilized with 250-100-200 lbs N-P-K/A and irrigated with 1 inch of water

eight times during the growing season. Grain moisture was determined with an

electronic meter and grain yields were corrected to 15.5% moisture.

Maximum and minimum air temperatures 1.5 m from the ground are shown in

figure 1. Rainfall events and amounts are shown in figure 2 along with

planting, tasseling, and harvest dates.

Experimental design was a randomized complete block each year. There were

3 replications in 1985, 4 replications in 1986, and 6 replications in 1987.

The State Yield Performance Trial was also a randomized complete block with 4

replications, and its inclusion was for the purpose of economic analysis of an

intensive management system compared to a dryland mono and double-crop system.

Results and Discussion

Tropical corn was grown in 1985, 1986, and 1987 following winter wheat in

a double-cropping no-till system. The first year (1985), three replications

of Pioneer X-304C and DeKalb XL-560 obtained 64 bu/A and 27 bu/A, respectively

(CV = 8.7%) (Figure 3). Comparisons of grain yields of Pioneer X-304C for all

three years are shown in figure 4 and can be correlated with rainfall and air

temperature data in figures 1 and 2. Note that the three years rainfall cor-

relates with planting and tasseling followed by a dry period at harvest.

Rainfall during the growing season (planting date to harvest date) of 1985,

1986, and 1987 years was 16 inches during 113 days, 25 inches during 127 days,

and 15 inches during 125 days, respectively. Tropical corn was sidedressed

with nitrogen at 24-30 inches high in 1985 and at 12 inches high in 1986 and

1987. We found that the warm temperatures of June and July caused the

tropical corn to grow much faster than expected in 1985 and hence the 12 inch







high sidedress was used in 1986 and 1987 rather than 24-30 inches high like we

would do for the spring planted temperate crop. We believe this and the

lodging problem experienced in 1985 caused by two hurricanes reduced the

yields for 1985. Ninety-five percent of the corn lodged, in 1985, 20 to 30

from the vertical but did not fall down. The leaning caused the roots to be

exposed during the grain fill period and resulted in less water and nutrient

uptake during ear fill.

Figure 5 shows a comparison of tropical corn (Pioneer X-304C) grain yields

grown with moderate fertility during summer with the temperate corn hybrid

(Asgrow 5509) grown with moderate fertility during the spring and a yield

difference of 52 bu/A. This was the result of a dry period during April and

early May that severely reduced yield potential and resulted in insect damaged

grain. The yield for Asgrow 5509 grown during the spring of 1987 under high

fertility (250-100-200) and irrigation was 174 bu/A (Fig. 5). The early

growing low fertility (120 lb N/A) season for corn (Asgrow 5509) in 1987 was

153 days with 31 inches rainfall and 8 inches irrigation. The growing season

for the tropical corn (Pioneer X-304C) grown during the summer was 125 days

with 15 inches rainfall. Resultant water-use efficiencies [bu/A inches

water] were 4.5 for spring grown irrigated corn (Asgrow 5509), and 2.1 for

spring grown non irrigated corn (Asgrow 5509), and 6.4 for summer grown

tropical corn (Pioneer X-304C). Nitrogen-use efficiency [bu/A #N/A] were

0.70 for spring grown irrigated corn (Asgrow 5509), 0.32 for spring grown

dryland corn (Asgrow 5509), and 0.71 for summer grown tropical corn (Pioneer

X-304C).

Yield, cost, price and net return for wheat and single-cropped irrigated

and non irrigated temperate corn and single- and double-cropped non irrigated

tropical corn are displayed in Table 1. Yields are from the experiments, cost

estimates are based upon the cultural practices used in the experiments and








prices are projections of 1988 market prices. Wheat is the only single crop

with a projected positive net return. The only corn crop that has a projected

positive net return is the double-cropped tropical corn. The anticipated net

returns (losses) from an acre of irrigated temperate corn (spring planted) and

an acre of single-cropped tropical corn (summer planted) are similar. The

projected loss from an acre of non irrigated temperate corn is $45 greater

than either of the single-cropped corn crops (temperate corn irrigated and

tropical corn non irrigated).

The cost savings incurred by double-cropping tropical corn is substantial

when compared to temperate corn. The savings result in a net return which is

about $30/acre greater than the net loss obtained when tropical corn is

single-cropped. Two-thirds of the cost savings is derived from a reduction in

variable costs.


.Table 1. Yields, costs per acre and per bushel, prices and net returns for
wheat, single-cropped irrigated and dryland temperate corn and
single- and double-cropped non irrigated tropical corn.


Temperate Corn Tropical Corn
Wheat Irrigated Dryland Single Double

Variable cost/acre 82 240 125 140 120
Fixed cost/acre 30 110 30 40 30
Total cost/acre 112 350 155 180 150
Yield (bu/acre) 47 174 49 87 87
Total cost/bu 2.38 2.01 3.16 2.07 1.72
Price ($/bu) 2.90 1.90 1.90 1.90 1.90
Net return/bu 0.52 -0.11 -1.26 -0.17 0.18
Net return/acre 24.44 -10.14 -61.74 -14.79 15.66



The advantages of tropical corn grown during the summer lies in the fact

that good yields can be obtained with fairly low economic inputs (moderate

fertilization and no irrigation) by taking advantage of the summer rains that

are fairly dependable for much of the S.E. Coastal Plain during the period

from late June through early September, which corresponds to the period of









highest need, and a predictable early fall drought for maturity and harvest.

The dry fall permits few weeds to germinate and grow as they do when temperate

hybrids mature in late July and early August. We have observed that tropical

corn shucks are tighter than temperate hybrids making it less susceptible to

corn earworm, (a particularly bad fall pest) immune to corn smut, and little

incidence of aflotoxin. Fertility inputs are lower in a double-cropping

program because the tropical corn can take advantage of the residual fertility

from the previous crop. Tropical corn is only profitable in a double cropping

system with small grains.









REFERENCES

1. Abington, J. B. 1975. Development of a maize breeding program in

Zambia. I. Formation of Zambia Composite A and description of breeding

system adopted. Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) 51(2):31-38.

2. Abington, J. B. 1975. Development of a maize breeding program in

Zambia. II. Evaluation of introduced material and formation of Zambia

Composite Z. Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) 52(1):39-45.

3. DoCanto, W. L., A. A. Vitali, and M. Okada. 1979. Energy use for the

production of rice, beans, maize, and soya beans in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) 56(3):277-283.

4. Goldworthy, P. R., A. F. E. Palmer, and D. W. Sperling. 1974. Growth

and yield of lowland tropical maize in Mexico. J. Agric. Sci. Cambridge

83:223-230.

5. Gumbs, F. A., and D. Summers. 1985. Effect of different tillage methods

on fuel consumption and yield of maize. Trop. Agric. 62(3):185-189.

6. Kang, B. T., and H. F. Massey. 1966. Plot sizes for fertilizer experi-

ments with corn under certain conditions in the Tropics. Soil Sci.

101(2):152-154.

7. Kang, M. S., and M. S. Zuber, and G. F. Krause. 1983. Path coefficient

analyses of grain yield and harvest grain moisture in maize. Trop.

Agric. 60(4):253-256.

8. Macartney, J. C., P. J. Northwood, M. Dagg, R. Dawson. 1971. The effect

of different cultivation on soil moisture conservation and establishment

and yield of maize at Kongwa, Central Tanzania Trop. Agric. (Trinidad)

48(1):9-14.

9. Manuelpillai, R. G., M. Sudjadi, M. Supartini and J. A. Silva. 1982.

Influence of P applications on maize yields in the Typic Paleudults in

South Sumatra. Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) 59(2):173-178.










10. Muleba, N., T. G. Hart and G. M. Paulsen. 1983. Physiological factors

affecting maize (Zea mays L.) yields under tropical and temperate con-

ditons. Trop Agric. (Trinidad) 60(1):3-10.

11. Muleba, N., R. N. Wedderburn, and G. M. Paulsen. 1983. Relationships

among some morphological and physiological traits in tropical maize (Zea

mays L.). Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) 60(3):197-200.

12. Simpson, L. A., and F. Gumbs. 1985. Comparison of three tillage methods

for maize (Zea mays L.) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp.) pro-

duction on a coastal clay soil in Guyana. Trop. Agric. 62(1):25-28.

13. Taylor, B. R., and T. B. Bailey. 1979. Response of maize varieties to

environment in West Africa. Trop. Agric. 56(2):89-97.

14. Widstrom, N. W., and J. R. Young. 1980. Double-cropping corn on the

coastal plain of the Southeastern United States. Agron. J. 73(2):302-

304.

15. Yamaguchi, J. 1974. Varietal traits limiting grain yield of tropical

maize. IV. Plant traits and productivity of tropical varieties. Soil

Sci. Plant Nutr. 20:287-304.









1985


I

90-


75T
60

401


175 o00 --5 Z-0 75
1986
-5^-==- ~fs *






I 1!



175 200 22 250 275 300
is~~Ji ^
YL J=-;rLslr-~2--- ^J
~ -t--&t
l-' 20 22 25 27 30


1987


40-
"L


Figure 1.


175 200 2Z5 250 Z75 300
DAY OF YEAR
Minimum (C) and maximum (2) air temperatures during corn
growing seasons of 1985, 1986, and 1987. Days of year
reported in days Julian.


90,


754


75r







1985


1986

-o .. .........
.................. ... :"~
if H .. .



-o i
. . ..-. -. . .
.........
,I' r:r;~4I Ii ii ir Iiii ~t~Lt~- ii~L ._. ;i I I ~~-- T~~ i:. .. .. .T 1
.


1987


15 1 15 1 15 1 15 1 15
June July August September October

GROWING SEASON
Rainfall during the late summer growing season of 1985, 1986, and
1987. Arrows indicate planting, tasseling, and harvest.


U,

u3


2



-:


Figure 2.
















TROPICAL CORN 1985


.. .......... ..............................


............ ............ ...



304 506
PIONEER X-304C DEKALB XL-560
HYBRID
Comparison of yields from Pioneer X-304C and
DeKalb XL-560 for 1985 (CV = 8.7%). Columns
with the same letter are not significantly
different at the 5% level of probability
using the Waller-Duncan K ratio t test.


Figure 3.



















PIONEER


X-304C


Y IEL D




......... .........
..................
......... .........
......... .........
......... .........


............... ...............
a ..............
....... ..............

F ..
... .. ..... ... ..
... .. .. .. .. ..


YEAR
Corn grain yield for Pioneer X-304C in 1985,
1986, and 1987 (CV = 8.7 for 1985, 10.3 for
1986, and 11.5 for 1987). Columns with the
same letter are not significantly different
at the 5% level of probability using the
Waller-Duncan K ratio t test.


Figure 4.

















TROPICAL CORN 1987
SUMMER SPRING SPRING


120 lb N/A


120 lb N/A


. ........ ...... ............ ............... ... ....
......- ....--- ......... ... ---- .------ --
............ ----- -
..........................................................
m.: ...............................

M ......................... *'"*** ---------


304 0 5509
PIONEER X-304C ASGROW 5509
Non irrigated Non irrigated
HYBRID


0 5509
ASGROW 5509
Irrigated


Figure 5. Comparison of Tropical corn (Pioneer X-304C) grown
in summer 1987, with temperate corn (Asgrow 5509)
grown in spring without irrigation and with 120
lb N/A and spring with irrigation and 250 N/A
(CV = 11.5% for summer Pioneer X-304C, 45.9% for
spring without irrigation and.120 lb N/A, Asgrow
5509, and 10.7% for spring irrigation and 250 lb
N/A, Asgrow 5509).


250


lb N/A







































Figure 6. Environmental niche where summer rainfall matches
tropical corn requirements in the Southeast
United States.




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