Germination conditions are determined by hydraulic, thermal and mechanical properties of the soils. In heterogeneous fields, the most favourable seeding depth varies spatially. To investigate the influence of seeding depth on emergence and grain yield of corn, corn was planted in depths of 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 mm in three experimental years (2006–2008). The apparent soil electrical conductivity was measured with an EM38. The apparent electrical conductivity was used as a proxy for soil texture, top-soil thickness, effective root zone thickness, soil water content and soil structure. The spatial dependencies among emergence, yield and apparent electrical conductivity were considered by including spatial models into the statistical analysis. The results showed significant correlations of the apparent soil electrical conductivity, of the experimental year, and of the seeding depth with the emergence of corn. Deeper planted corn (80 or 90 mm) resulted in more emergence than shallow planted corn (+4.4% in 2006, +1.2% in 2007 and +1.5% in 2008). The emergence decreased with increasing apparent soil electrical conductivity values. The corn grain yield was significantly affected by the soil electrical conductivity, by emergence and by the experimental year. Increasing apparent soil electrical conductivity values were correlated with decreasing yield (from 7.5 to 3.4 Mg ha−1 in 2006, from 10.8 to 5.3 Mg ha−1 in 2007 and from 8.4 to 2.9 Mg ha−1 in 2008). Increasing emergence resulted in increasing yield.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 3, 2011
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