Potential for Intensification of Maize Production with SDI
Lead Researcher: Freddie Lamm

 The need:  More research is needed to evaluate the effect on corn yields when the crop is irrigated using subsurface drip.  

 The goal: This project supported data analysis from previous years’ field work to evaluate subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) effect on the intensification of corn production comparing different irrigation application amounts.  

The impact: Corn yields were not affected by irrigation level and significantly greater crop water productivity (CWP) was achieved with a lower 85% ET-rain irrigation treatment. Significant differences between hybrids were observed, with Pioneer 1197 averaging nearly 9% more grain yield, primarily due to a greater number of kernels/ear. Increasing 34,000 to 38,000 or 42,000 plants/acre increased grain yield by 4% (10 bushels/acre). Seasonal profile soil water was relatively stable across irrigation treatments and plant densities, further indicating that the 85% ET-Rain irrigation treatment provided sufficient moisture.