10/13/09 … It’s Root Diggin’ Time at Orthman Research Farm

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Published October 13, 2009 | By admin


If it is wet, cold, and miserable in Central Nebraska it must be time for Mike Petersen to go out measure, count, dig roots, and play in the mud. Today was no exception to the norm for when we have the days to dig – Mike is here and getting brown and muddy. Just like a kid, but this guy says it is great!
The root digs he told us are coming up with interesting results with facts that the cool, wet season was detrimental to the Direct Seeded corn. The strip-till corn shows a distinct advantage to root development, corn ear size, kernel maturity, and population of the corn crop. In the various fertilizer treatments, the rooting profiles Mike explained to us are showing very positive results compared to the check plots. As the data comes in and Mike summarizes he will be getting a report here on the Precision Tillage website. The differences between strip-till and Direct Seeded in rooting depth is 16 to 29% deeper for the strip-tilled. Above ground, the corn looked slightly smaller in diameter, it was 1 to 2 fewer leaves in stature in the Direct Seeded but about the same height. Kernel count per ear in the Direct Seeded was off by 56 to 176 kernels compared to the Strip-Till. When the “lie detector” goes through the field we will know the real numbers come first of next month – we hope!




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