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The P&PDL Picture of the Week
for 9 December 2002

Sidewall and Tillage Compaction Effects in Corn

Bob Nielsen, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University

The wet spring conditions of 2002 were very conducive for the development of soil compaction by tillage implements and planters. Sidewall compaction, the smearing of the planter furrow sides, was particularly prevalent in corn fields throughout Indiana in 2002. The effects of the severe compaction were compounded by the fact that soils subsequently dried out rapidly with the onset of drought conditions just at the time when the late-planted corn seedlings were beginning their nodal root development. Coupled with severe root injury in some cases by corn rootworm larvae, the resulting stunted corn fields were more dramatic than many ever remember seeing before.

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Photos courtesy of: Bob Nielsen

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Last updated: 9 December 2002/amd
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University