Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Henry, W. Brien

Committee Member

Varco, Jac J.

Committee Member

Reddy, K. Raja

Committee Member

Daves, Christopher A.

Committee Member

Cox, Michael S.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Producers choosing to implement an early corn planting management strategy often experience several yield limiting biotic and abiotic factors. Field variability, flooding, sub-optimal soil temperatures which leads to poor nutrient uptake, delayed emergence and reduced root growth can limit grain production. Three separate experiments were conducted to address some of the negative effects associated with early corn planting. Experiment 1 evaluated flooding effects on several morpho-physiological traits including root system architecture during early crop development. Hybrids (DKC 6208, Pioneer 1197) were flooded at planting (V0) and growth stages V1, V2, V3 for 0, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96 hours. Plants flooded at V0 11% suffered the steepest decline in collar height. Plants flooded at V2 10% were more susceptible than plants flooded V1 4%. Overall, there was a linear decline in nutrient concentration if flooding occurred at planting. Tissue Na levels were the most affected by flood duration and K was the least affected. Experiment 2 evaluated biologic compounds developed to increase immobile nutrients P and K to improve fertilizer use efficiency and provide slow developing roots essential nutrients. The effectiveness of microbial products (B-300, QR, Mammoth, EM-1) with/without starter fertilizer influenced yield, emergence, plant growth, and nutrient uptake. Biologic seed treatments compared to the control, resulted in a positive yield advantage for all treatments. Yields ranged from 37 to 48% higher if biologic compounds were applied. On average, yields increased from 26 to 38% after starter fertilizer was added to the biologic compounds. Phosphorus levels at VT were significantly higher for QR and K content was higher for B300, SF-B300, QR, Mamm, and SF-Mamm compared to the control. Experiment 3 addressed soil physical/chemical properties affecting plant development and there yield plant density relationship. On average, yields significantly increased 40% as plant population increased from 49,400 to 103,740 plants ha−1. Based on the quadratic model agronomically yields would be highest at 61,360 plants ha−1. Correlation analysis among yield and soil physical and chemical properties revealed positive correlations for grain yield, sand% (r2 = 0.42), soil K (r2 = 0.17) soil Na (r2 = 0.46), and soil P (r2 = 0.49).



seeding rate||corn||biologic seed treatments||planting date