An On-Farm Comparison of Fertility Treatments on One Sweet Corn Variety Planted - Harvested at Two Different Times During the Season

Final Report for FNE02-446

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2002: $3,813.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Brooks Way
Way Fruit Farm
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Project Information

Summary:

Results
The cost for the 3 treatments were Treatment 1 – Prepalnt Inc 50 lbs N/Acre $540.62
Treatment 2 – Sidedress PSNT $548.10 and Treatment 3 – Foliar Fertileader and BMO $558.55. The difference in cost was due to the different cost of Fertilizer, testing and application methods. The fertilizer cost was Pre-plant $40.75, Side-dress nitrogen after PSNT $48.23 and Foliar Fertileader and BMO $58.68 per acre. Net return to management was Preplant $2416.07, Sidedress after PSNT $3088.21 and Foliar Fertileader and BMO $2419.16 per acre. The results of the Brix test where an average of 22.22 for the 50 Preplant plots, 21.94 for the PSNT plots and 22.78 for the plots that were foliar sprayed.
The Plan for 2004 is to use a PSNT test on all sweet corn grown and tested when the sweet corn is 8-12 inches tall and fertilize to a level necessary to produce 120 of dry shelled corn per acre. Attached as appendix 1 is a summary of the financial data.

Introduction:

This project was conducted to determine the effect:
1. of a foliar treatment with Fertileader & Fertileader BMO,
2. of the use of a Pre-Sidedres Nitrate Soil Test (PSNT) to measure nitrate available to the crop when the crop is 8 to 12 inches tall. A recommendation for nitrogen is made if the test is less than 25 ppm nitrate.
3. of preplant incorporate 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre,
I (Brooks Way, owner of Ways Fruit Farm), farm over 200 acres in fruit and vegetable production, grown mostly on land owned. My crop mix consists of 100 acres of apples, 20 acres of peaches, 12 acres of strawberries, 2 acres of tart cherries, 1 acre of sweet cherries, 15 acres of pumpkins, 25 acres of sweet corn, and 35 acres of agronomic crops. I was involved in the experimental design and provided farm labor and equipment to carry out field implementation of trials. I also was involved in writing the summary report. Thomas M. Butzler, IPM/Horticulture-PSU Coop. Extension, Craig Altemose, Centre County CED/Agronomy-PSU Coop. Extension, and Mark Douglass, Farm Financial Management PSU-Coop. Extension were involved in experimental design, implementation, data collection, analysis, outreach efforts, and summary report.

Way Research Methods 2003

We picked a site with minimal soil variability. The soil type was Murrill Channery Silt Loam, 3-8% slope. Two Trials were planted one in early May and one in early June. Plots were 60 feet X 60 feet. Each trial was 60 feet wide x 720 feet long . Attached as appendix 2 are diagrams of test plots and treatments. Treatments in each strip trial consisted of foliar treatment with Fertileader & Fertileader BMO, PSNT to 25 ppm or the rate needed to produce 120 bushels of dry shell corn per acre (based on field crop recommendations since Penn State does not have a recommendation for sweet corn) and preplant incorporate 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre. To take into account any variability, treatments were replicated four times in each trial. All treatments were applied after each trial was brought up to recommended soil test levels.

We soil sampled both trial area’s and applied fertilizer to the soil test recommendation (50-30-0/acre) to all plots. Trial 1: 50-30-0 rate/acre was applied and incorporated right away on 5/1/03. Plots 1, 5, 8, and 10 received 50 nitrogen/acre that was incorporated right away on 5/1/03. All 12 plots in trial #1 were planted on 5/3/03 with the sweet corn variety Incredible. The planting rate was 18,000 seeds/acre. Plant populations across the plots ranged from 12,000 to 18,000 plants/acre in both trials. Herbicide Prowl 3 EC at 1 qt./A & Bicep Lite II, Magnum at 2 qt./A was applied on May, 04, 2003 pre-emergence to control weeds. European corn borer (ECB), corn earworm (CEW), & fall armyworm (FAW) were monitored through traps placed at the two trial sites at planting. A Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Soil Test sample (PSNT) was taken when the corn was 8 inches tall in both trials. Plots 2, 4, 9 and 12 in trial 1 were sampled on 6/17/03. Plots having a test > 25 ppm nitrate received a zero recommendation. Plots with < 25 ppm nitrate received a nitrogen recommendation based on 120 bu. per acre dry shell corn. Nitrogen was recommended and applied to plots 2, 4, and 12 at a rate of 114/acre, 120/acre, and 115/acre respectively. Plot 9 had a zero recommendation. This was applied as a sidedress and incorporated on 6/20/03. Irrigation was applied on 7/3/03. Fertileader at 2.5 pts./acre was applied to plots 3, 6, 7, and 11 on 7/1/03 while BMO at 2.5 pts./acre and Larvin Insecticide were applied 7/30/03. Warrior Insecticide at 3 oz./acre was applied to both trials on 8/13/03. Trial 2 was planted on 6/1/03 with the sweet corn variety Incredible. Herbicide Prowl 3 EC at 1 Qt./A & Bicep Lite II, Magnum at 2 Qt./A was applied was applied on June, 02, 2003 pre-emergence to control weeds. Again all plots received 50-30-0 fertilizer that was incorporated on 6/1/03. Plots 1, 5, 9, and 12 received 50 N/ acre that was incorporated 6/1/03. Plots 2, 6, 8, and 10 received a PSNT on 6/23/03. Plots 2 and 6 had a recommendation of 118 lbs. and 123 lbs N/acre respectively that was applied as a sidedress and incorporated on July 18. Plots 8 and 10 had a zero recommendation. Fertileader at 2.5 pts. /acre was applied to plots 3, 4, 7, and 11 on 7/21/03 while BMO at 2.5 pts./acre and Larvin Insecticide at 50 oz./acre was applied 8/8/03. Foliar samples were taken in each plot of both trials at random using a zig zag pattern. They were taken from the base of the ear prior to harvest (24 samples total). We harvested, counted, and weighed marketable ears from rows 4, 8, 12, and 16 out of each plot. Yields were interpolated to one acre based on a 34 inch row spacing and our 20-feet sample length in the middle of each 60 foot corn row. Harvests were taken August 18 & August 25, 2003. Trial 1 and 2 respectively. A Brix test was performed for sugar content of 1 ear selected at random from each row sample harvested in each plot. The 2003 year was a record setting year for rainfall; irrigation was only needed once to help incorporate the side dress fertilizer. Cost were lower for 2003 compared to 2002 due to not having to use irrigation more then once.
Wire cone traps with appropriate lures were used to trap and monitor corn earworm and European corn borer while a bucket trap was used to monitor fall armyworm (Appendix 3)
Results
The cost for the 3 treatments were Treatment 1 – Prepalnt Inc 50 lbs N/Acre $540.62
Treatment 2 – Sidedress PSNT $548.10 and Treatment 3 – Foliar Fertileader and BMO $558.55. The difference in cost was due to the different cost of Fertilizer, testing and application methods. The fertilizer cost was Pre-plant $40.75, Side-dress nitrogen after PSNT $48.23 and Foliar Fertileader and BMO $58.68 per acre. Net return to management was Preplant $2416.07, Sidedress after PSNT $3088.21 and Foliar Fertileader and BMO $2419.16 per acre. The results of the Brix test where an average of 22.22 for the 50 Preplant plots, 21.94 for the PSNT plots and 22.78 for the plots that were foliar sprayed.
The Plan for 2004 is to use a PSNT test on all sweet corn grown and tested when the sweet corn is 8-12 inches tall and fertilize to a level necessary to produce 120 of dry shelled corn per acre. Attached as appendix 1 is a summary of the financial data.
Outreach
As part of the outreach effort, a field day was held for the Appalachian Fruit Growers Association on August 12, ten growers attended. The field day was held at the sweet corn fertility strip trials followed by a tour of the Way Farm facilities and direct market operation. On August 13 a group of forty growers from Alabama visited the farm and toured the sweet corn fertility trials.

A poster was developed and will be upgraded to be displayed at the Central Pennsylvania Vegetable Conference and North Central Pennsylvania Vegetable Conference in February 2004 and four pesticide recertification meetings and crops meetings in Clinton and Centre Counties. Results will be published in the 2004 January issue of the North Central Region Agriculture and Natural Resources Newsletter.

Cooperators

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  • Thomas Butzler

Research

Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.