Effect of delayed planting on corn in central Kansas



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Journal ISSN

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Kansas State University


Interest has grown regarding management options to improve and stabilize dryland corn production (Zea mays L.) in challenging environments. Grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) has been documented to produce more consistent grain yields than corn in dryland production in Kansas. In periods of reduced water availability, sorghum can delay growth and development, allowing the plant to capture water later in the season for flowering and grainfill. Delaying planting in corn can serve a similar purpose. In central Kansas, planting corn earlier so pollination occurs before periods of extreme stress has been successful, but little research has investigated delayed planting or its long-term effect. The objectives of this study were to evaluate plant growth and yield response to delayed planting through field research and to quantify its long-term effects through crop model simulations. Field trials with delayed planting dates and hybrids of varying maturity revealed that yield at Manhattan, KS, did not decrease significantly until the final planting date in 2007 and did not decrease at all with delayed planting in 2008. At Belleville, yield increased with later planting in 2007 and was not affected by planting date in 2008. At Hutchinson, yield decreased significantly with each planting date until the third in 2007. However, in 2008, yield increased significantly from the second to fourth planting dates. Simulations in CERES-Maize over 51 years revealed no difference in yield between planting dates at Manhattan and Belleville, but showed a significant decrease between the first planting date and the third and fourth planting dates at Hutchinson. Chi-squared tests indicated that all planting date x hybrid combinations at Manhattan and Belleville produced economically profitable yields at frequencies significantly greater than 0.5. At Hutchinson, all but two of the twelve planting date x hybrid combinations produced profitable yields at frequencies significantly less than 0.5. The two remaining combinations produced profitable yields at frequencies that were not different than 0.5. One of these combinations was observed at the fourth planting date. These results suggest that the economical viability of delayed planting of corn is heavily dependent on location.



delayed, planting, corn, Kansas

Graduation Month



Master of Science


Department of Agronomy

Major Professor

Kraig L. Roozeboom