Soil management practices for increasing corn yields in Suwannee County

Material Information

Soil management practices for increasing corn yields in Suwannee County
Alternate title:
Department of Soils mimeograph report 55-6 ; University of Florida
Robertson, W. K ( William Kendrick )
University of Florida -- Dept. of Soils
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
2 leaves : ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Corn -- Soils -- Florida ( lcsh )
Soil management -- Florida ( lcsh )
Suwannee County ( local )
Corn ( jstor )
Fertilizers ( jstor )
Cover crops ( jstor )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Caption title.
General Note:
"February 14, 1955."
Statement of Responsibility:
by W.K. Robertson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
311143615 ( oclc )


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FEB 18 195
Department of Soils
Mimeograph Report 55-6 February 14, 1955

University of Florida
Suwannee Valley Experiment Station
George E. Ritchey Agronomist in Charge

by W. K. Robertson

The average annual corn yields in Suwannee County are usually less than 10
bushels per acre. This is approximately six bushels per acre below the state
average and it is not economical to grow corn when yields are this low. When the
Suwannee Valley Experiment Station was founded in 1951, experiments were planned
with a view to increasing the corn yields by means of good soil management prac-

The soils in Suwannee County are predominately fine sands. They are low in
native fertility and do not have the capacity to retain enough moisture and cer-
tain of the fertilizer nutrients to produce maximum yields. To increase corn
yields on these soils it is necessary to improve moisture relations and apply the
right kind of fertilizer at the proper time and in the proper amounts.

From 1951 through 1953, experiments were conducted in cooperation with
farmers of the area. One of the cooperative experiments was carried out about
eight miles east of Live Oak, on a fine sand that had been cropped for many
years. The soil was limed to approximately pH 6, and planted to sweet lupines
about the first of October, The lupines were fertilized with 300 pounds per
acre of 0-14-10 fertilizer and produced approximately 20,000 pounds of green
weight per acre. They were plowed down in the spring about 10 days before plant-
ing corn. Chemical analysis showed that they contained approximately 80 pounds
of nitrogen per acre. In addition to the nitrogen they added valuable organic
matter which improved the moisture and nutrient holding capacity of the soil.
Where no additional fertilizer was added the corn produced 29 bushels per acre.
When three hundred pounds per acre of 4-7-5 fertilizer was applied at planting it
did not increase the yield significantly. However, side-dressing applications
made in addition to the other fertilizer, increased corn yields to 43 bushels per

A second experiment was located about three miles east of Live Oak on a light
sandy, virgin soil. It was designed to determine the effect of different cover
crops on corn yields and also the effect of two nitrogen side-dressings in place
of one. The soil was first limed to pH 6. The corn received 300 pounds per acre
of 4-10-7 fertilizer at planting, 200 pounds of nitrate of soda potash (15-0-14)
at the first cultivation and 100 pounds of ammonium nitrate per acre at last
cultivation. The yield data are summarized in Table 1.



Average Yield in Bushels per Acre
One Side-dressing Additional Side-dressing
(200 Lbs. 15-0-1) (100 Lbs. Ammonium Nitrate

Following no cover crop 33 40

Following non-legume cover crop 38 50

Follwoing legume cover crop 40 54

It is observed in the Table that legume cover crops (sweet lupines, hubam and
crimson clover) fertilized with 400 pounds per acre of 0-14-10 increased corn
yields, on the average, 1 bushels per acre. The non-legume cover crops (oats
and rye) fertilized with 500 pounds per acre of 6-6-6 and top-dressed with three
100 pound per acre applications of ammonium nitrate increased corn yields 10
bushels per acre. None of the cover crops w ere grazed. However, they could
have been used for supplementary grazing .without appreciably affecting the corn
yields. Omitting the last side-dressing of ammonium nitrate reduced the corn
yield by 14 bushels per acre.

In both experiments moisture appeared to be the most limiting factor. How-
ever, using the data from these experiments, the following soil management prac-
tices are suggested as sound economical practices in producing good corn yields
in Suwannee County:

1. Plant a legume cover crop about the first of October, fertilize with
00 pounds per acre of O-14-10, use for supplemental grazing if de-
sired and plow down about 10 days before corn planting time.

2. Apply 300 pounds of k-7-5 or 4-12-12 fertilizer at planting time, 200
pounds of 15-0-1. or its equivalent at first cultivation and 100 pounds
per acre of ammonium nitrate or its equivalent at last cultivation.

3. Plant corn 29 inches apart in 36 inch rows (6000 stalks per acre).

For additional information on these practices contact your county agent.

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