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Research Challenges from and for High Yield Growers. Scientists and farmers. International Conference on Precision Agriculture Minneapolis, MN July 26, 2004 Paul Fixen Potash & Phosphate Institute. Is this session appropriate for a precision agriculture conference?.

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Research Challenges from and for High Yield Growers

Scientists and

farmers

International Conference on Precision Agriculture

Minneapolis, MN

July 26, 2004

Paul Fixen

Potash & Phosphate Institute


Is this session appropriate for a precision agriculture conference?

Precision in management gets more critical as yield potential climbs …

- agronomic reasons

- environmental reasons


Summary:Research challenges from high yield growers

  • A large gap exists between maximum attainable and typical yields

  • Observing the practices of high yield growers through the lens of scientific principles and controlled research can be revealing and lead to researchable questions for scientists and farmers

  • Modern technologies should facilitate narrowing the gap between attainable and typical yields


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F. Childs

Manchester, IA

20 bu/A/yr

H. Warsaw

Saybrook, IL

Exploitable yield potential in corn

Iowa example

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1965-1991

2.0 bu/A/yr

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IA Contest Winners

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IA State Average

1.7 bu/A/yr


Top corn yields from researchers in 1982

Dr. Roy Flannery

New Jersey

338 bu/A

Dr. Sterling Olsen

Colorado

332 bu/A


From Saybrook, IL to Manchester, IA

Manchester, IA

Growing season precip: very similar at 27-28”

Growing degree Days: Manchester - 2980

Urbana – 3513

PropertyChildsWarsaw

Soil type Kenyon loam Parr silt loam

Taxonomy Typic Hapludolls Oxyaquic Argiudolls

Org. mat., % 5.5-6.0 4.5-5.8

pH 5.3-6.1 6.0

P1, ppm 126 (VH) 81 (VH)

K, ppm 374 (VH) 400 (VH)

Source: Childs – Murrell and Childs, 2000; Smith,2000;

Dobermann, 2002; Warsaw – PPI, 1986.

Saybrook, IL


Depth, In Childs Warsaw-light Warsaw-dark

Organic matter, %

0-6 5.6 5.8 4.5

6-12 4.5 4.9 3.9

12-18 3.0 3.2 4.3

18-24 --- 1.4 4.3

24-30 --- 0.8 3.8

30-36 --- 0.6 3.6

Source: Childs data – Dobermann, 2002.

Warsaw data – PPI, 1977.

From Saybrook, IL to Manchester, IA: Soil OM

Manchester, IA

Warsaw: 20 years of intensively managed continuous corn

Childs: 35 yearsof intensively managed continuous corn

Saybrook, IL


From Saybrook, IL to Manchester, IA: Practices

Manchester, IA

Practice Childs Warsaw

Fall tillage Mini MP 14” deep CH 14” deep

Hybrid 2001-34M95; 2002-34N44 FS 854

Harv. Population 34,000 - 40,000 36,000

Row spacing 2001-30”; 2002-20” 28”

Manure High rates in past 20 T/A annually

Fall P2O5+K2O none 250+250

Fall N, lb/A 50(UAN) 45(DAP)

Preplant N 250(NH3 + sep. stab.) 300(UAN)+ 100(AS)

Starter, N+P2O5+K2O6+15+15+ACA 26+26+26

Popup, N+P2O5+K2O 4+9+4 none

Postplant N 50(UAN) 75(UR)

2.5-4’ tall N 50(UAN+Guardian) None

Fert N, lb/A 410(1.0 bu/lb) 546(0.7 bu/lb)

Other nutrients Boron Sulfur

Saybrook, IL


Research challenges: Which practices are critical and at what level?

  • Determination of site-specific attainable yield estimates (crop models)

  • Carbon cycling – crop and environmental impacts

  • Crop rotation vs monoculture

  • Tillage requirements … no till/strip till

  • Minimum N requirements, NH4+ vs NO3-, timing

  • Minimum soil test P and K requirements

  • Role of subsoil fertility, organic matter, etc. (P. Nowak)

  • Role of manure application

  • Role of secondary and micronutrients

  • Importance of starter fertilizer (0.5% P at V3-V4 for max kernel initiation/ear)


Better Crops

(2004, No. 1)

http://www.hybridmaize.unl.edu/


Real time yield prediction of current season

U. of Nebraska

EI Study - Lincoln

July 25, 2004

349

279

251


Soil Test P and K requirements for very high yields: Classical theory

  • For soil immobile nutrients like P or K, the STL vs % yield relationship should not vary with site yield potential unless plant population increases enough for adjacent roots to compete with each other for P and K (Bray, 1954; Bray, 1963).

  • Roots normally occupy less than 1% of soil volume (Barber, 1984) … an increase in size of the root system translates into a greater volume of soil P or K being available for uptake.

  • As long as the size of the root system increases proportionally with yield, a higher yielding crop should not need a higher P or K concentration at the root surface … should not require a higher soil test level.


Soil Test P and K requirements for very high yields: Conditions that could lead to higher requirements

  • Shoot growth increases that exceed root growth increases as yields climb

  • Redistribution of roots from the surface soil to a low P or K subsoil

    • soil factors (organic matter, pH, structure, etc.)

    • varietal factors – vertical vs lateral rooting tendencies

  • Each % increase in yield has greater economic value … want to be further up the response curve


8 Weeks

Mature

36 Days

Source: Weaver, 1926

Is “subsoil” fertility more important to today’s high yield potential “stay-green” hybrids?

  • Probably taking up nutrients later in the season when surface soils are dryer

  • Higher % of active roots located deeper in profile

Is manure important

because it moves P

into subsoils?


27K vs 38K

39K vs 46K

Impact of hybrid on the influence of N rate on yield response to plant population

Colorado

S.R. Olsen, reported by W. M. Stewart, 2000


Risk/benefit evaluation of yield improvement phases


Summary:Research challenges from high yield growers

  • A large gap exists between maximum attainable and typical yields

  • Observing the practices of high yield growers through the lens of scientific principles and controlled research can be revealing and lead to researchable questions for scientists and farmers.

  • Modern technologies should facilitate narrowing the gap between attainable and typical yields

    • Simulation models to help define attainable yields and researchable questions

    • Improved weather data and management tools

    • Site-specific technologies for greater efficiency

    • Biotechnology for yield protection … and building


Research Challenges from High Yield Growers

InfoAg 2003

Indianapolis, IN

August 1, 2003

Paul Fixen

Potash & Phosphate Institute


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