Response of Maize, Cotton, and Soybean to Increased Crop Density in Heterogeneous Planting Arrangements

Sandra R. Ethridge, Anna M. Locke, Wesley J. Everman, David L. Jordan, Ramon G. Leon
2022 Agronomy  
The reduction of row spacing and increase of crop population density are important tools for maximizing crop yield. For this strategy to be effective, the crop population should not create intraspecific crop competition that penalizes yield. Thus, planting arrangements that increase light interception throughout the canopy without increasing row spacing might be needed to maintain yield. In this study, heterogeneous planting arrangements on evenly spaced rows were analyzed for maize (Zea mays
more » ... ), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.). Each crop had four planting arrangements: (1) normal density in all rows, considered the control, (2) doubled density in all rows, (3) a sequential arrangement of normal and tripled densities (each in every other row; NTNT), and (4) normal-tripled-tripled-normal (NTTN). Maize and cotton did not exhibit changes in growth and architecture when comparing uniform and variable planting arrangements. Soybeans were more adaptable and increased biomass production by 44% to 45% in variable arrangements. None of the crops showed differences in yield due to planting arrangement, so the use of rows with different densities might not be needed when using high densities to maximize yield.
doi:10.3390/agronomy12051238 fatcat:t5lvwjmgpfh77ia2cr3peq566e