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Luther Waters Jr., Rhoda L. Burrows, Mark A. Bennett, and John Schoenecker

A series of experiments exploring the effect of seed moisture and transplant management techniques was conducted with sh2 and su sweet corn (Zea mays L.). The use of seed and transplants in a progression of developmental stages from dry seed to moistened seed to 14-day-old transplants showed that moistened seed had no impact on plant `growth and development. Use of transplants generally had little impact beyond decreasing percent survival and plant height. Increasing the age of transplants reduced the time to maturity and harvest. Increasing the size of the transplant container (paper pot) decreased the time to harvest for younger seedings, but had no other effects. Premoistened seed were successfully held at 10C for up to 72 hours without damage following moisturization. Delays in irrigation of up to 2 days after planting moistened seed had no detrimental effects on sweet corn emergence and growth.

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Anusuya Rangarajan, Betsy Ingall, Michael Orfanedes, and David Wolfe

Early-planted fresh market sweet corn (Zea mays) is prone to nonuniform ear length and quality due to uneven germination in cool soils. Growers compensate by reducing in-row spacing at seeding, to increase final plant stand. This risk management strategy was suspected to be reducing quality of early-planted sweet corn, based upon buyer feedback. Four experiments were conducted in upstate New York, to examine the effects of in-row spacing and cultivar on early-planted sweet corn ear yield, length and uniformity. Cultivars examined included `Temptation' (4 years), `Sweet Symphony' (3 years) and `Seneca Spring' (2 years). In-row spacings tested ranged from 6 to 9 inches (15.2 to 22.9 cm), using a 30-inch (76.2-cm) between-row spacing. In-row spacing and cultivar influenced marketable yield, husked ear weight and length of early-planted corn, but the extent varied by year. Despite improvements in individual ear weight and length at wider in-row spacing, marketable yield was usually higher at more narrow spacings. Increases in ear weight at wider spacings were usually associated with increases in weight of the outer, green husk. Average ear length of a cultivar varied between 0.2 and 0.6 inches (0.5 to 1.5 cm) in response to spacing. If ears longer than 7 inches (17.8 cm) were desired, 40% to 60% of ears satisfied this criteria if harvested from plants grown at 8-inch (20.3-cm) in-row spacing or a plant population of 26,000 plants/acre (64,200 plants/ha). Ear weight and length of `Seneca Spring' was not as affected by the in-row spacing treatments compared to the other two cultivars, perhaps due to the small size of this cultivar. Selection of smaller sized sweet corn cultivars for planting at high plant populations (6-inch in-row spacing) may reduce the variation in ear weight under challenging early season conditions. For cultivars with similar growth characteristics and maturities of `Temptation' and `Sweet Symphony,' a minimum in-row spacing of 8 to 9 inches or a plant population of 23,200 to 26,000 plants/acre (57,300 to 64,200 plants/ha) was recommended to minimize variation in ear yield and quality from first bareground plantings in the northeastern United States.

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T.E. Dickert and W.F. Tracy

Heterosis in corn (Zea mays L.) usually results in earlier flowering, larger plants, and increased yield. In extremely early sweet corn the effect of heterosis on flowering time may be reduced or eliminated due to developmental and physiological requirements for vegetative growth before the transition to reproductive phase. The objective of this study was to determine the level of heterosis and the combining ability for flowering time and other agronomic traits in a diallel cross of six very early open-pollinated sweet corn cultivars. The diallel was grown in 1995 and 1996. Hybrids and parents averaged over hybrids differed for silk date, plant height, ear height, 10-ear weight, ear length, and 100-kernel weight but did not differ for row number and ear width. Heterosis for silk date was significant, but the difference between parents and hybrids was very small, 0.5 day. No hybrids were earlier than the earliest parent, and average midparent heterosis was -0.8%. In contrast midparent heterosis was significant and relatively high for 100-kernel weight (10.0%), ear length (12.9%), ear height (8.6%), plant height (9.0%), and 10-ear weight (28.2%). The traits with low heterosis had very high general combining ability/specific combining ability ratios while these ratios were much smaller in traits with high heterosis. Heterosis for many of the traits, including 10-ear weight, was higher than published values. Conversely, heterosis for flowering time was small, compared to other traits in this study and to published values for silk date, indicating that this extremely early germplasm may be at or near the limit for flowering time under the photoperiod and temperatures typical of summer in Madison, Wis. (43.05°N, 89.31°W).

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D.J. Makus

In Spring 1998, two sweet corn (Zea mays var. rugosa) cultivars were grown under three tillage systems, conventional cultivation, ridge tillage (RT), and no tillage (NT), which had been in continuous management since Fall 1994. Nitrogen (as NH4NO3), the only fertilizer used, was applied twice at 60 kg/ha. Sweet corn yields were not influenced by tillage system, but average ear weights tended to be smaller under NT (P < 0.17). Ear quality attributes, which included ear weight, length, diameter, dry matter, and incidence of earworm damage, were greater in the later-maturing `G-90' cultivar than in `Sensor'; but tillage system had no influence on these attributes. Cultivars supported different weed species underneath their canopies. `Sensor' allowed more light penetration and sustained higher weed biomass than did the taller `G-90' plants. Weed biomass was higher under RT and NT. Seasonal soil moisture was lowest in the RT plots, but only in the 0- to 15-cm profile. Soil temperatures (unreplicated) at the 15-cm depth were similar between cultivars and tillage treatments over the growing season. The earlier-maturing `Sensor' generally accumulated more ear mineral nutrients (P, S, NO3, Ca, Na, Zn, Mn, Al, and B; dry weight basis), but had lower dry matter (percentage) than did `G-90'. Cumulative nutrient levels tended to be lowest in NT-grown ears (P < 0.08). Soil sampled at 0- to 5-, 10- to 15-, and 25- to 30-cm depths generally had higher concentrations of nutrients toward the surface, and NT soils had the steepest nutrient gradients, with the exception of Na and NO3. Total soil salts were reduced by RT and NT, but C: N ratio remained unchanged between tillage systems.

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Barbara E. Liedl*, John Bombardiere, Melissa L. Williams, Amanda Stowers, Christopher Postalwait, and J. Mark Chatfield

Fertilizer costs and increased awareness of non-point source pollution run-off amplify the pressures on farm economics. Intensive farming operations provided the impetus for our study using effluent from anaerobic thermophilically digested poultry litter as a potential fertilizer. Five fertilizer treatments were used: unfertilized control, pelletized municipal sludge, commercial crop specific products, 1x digested solids and 2x digested solids. All four applications of fertilizer were equalized for nitrogen based on commercial product recommendations. Beds treated with 2x solids accumulated higher percentage of organic matter over the 5-year period. A statistically significant increase in phosphorus was found in the solids beds in 2003. Beds with 2x solids showed statistical significance for Mg, Zn and Cu. Fertilizer trials included blueberries, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet corn. Potato fresh weight was not significantly different in 2002 or 2003, but was in 2001. Tomato fruit number was not significantly different in 2001 or 2003, but was in 2002. Tomato fresh weight for 2x solids was not significantly different from the commercial or pelletized sludge treatments in 2002 and 2003 suggesting that tomato may discriminate between treatments. Commercial and pelletized sludge fertilizers were statistically better for sweet corn fresh ear weight and number of ears in 2002 and 2003. Blueberry yields were not significantly different between treatments for any year. As this is a perennial crop, it may be several years before a significant difference is observed. While not a total solution, our research shows the effectiveness of digested poultry litter as part of a nutrient management program; making livestock residuals a nutrient resource which offers the potential for organic use.

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George H. Clough, Sarah Blatchford, and Philip B. Hamm

decreased fresh weight if on the lower stalk with the largest reduction occurring with the largest gall. A gall of 5.1 to 10.2 cm on the upper stalk reduced ear fresh weight, whereas a gall greater than 10.2 cm in diameter further decreased ear weight. Table

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Vincent M. Russo and Merritt Taylor

not significant for number of marketable fruit. For sweet corn, year affected all yield components except average marketable ear weight; fertilizer treatment affected only marketable number of ears and marketable yield; yield components were unaffected

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Emma K. Dawson, George E. Boyhan, Tim Coolong, Nicholas T. Basinger, and Ryan McNeill

was measured but not included in the analysis because ≈90% or more of harvested corn had some level of tip damage due to corn earworm ( Helicoverpa zea ). Table 8. The effect of treatments on ‘Obsession’ sweet corn yield, individual ear weight

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Shuresh Ghimire, Edward Scheenstra, and Carol A. Miles

Organix AG and Exp. PLA/PHA treatments (average 10.1 t·ha −1 ), and it was lowest for bare ground, WeedGuardPlus, and Clear Organix AG treatments (average 6.6 t·ha −1 ) ( Fig. 6 ). In 2018, marketable ear weight was greatest for PE, Exp. PLA

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Thomas M. Butzler, Elsa S. Sánchez, Steven M. Bogash, Timothy E. Elkner, William J. Lamont Jr., Robert Pollock, and Lee J. Stivers

.7 lb over the 6 site years. Generally, marketable weight was not different between site and year. However, in 2013, marketable ear weight per plot was lower at the southwestern site compared with the central and southeastern sites (data not shown). The