2018 Organic Corn Performance Trial

Curt Reese and Brad Heins, WCROC

December 2018

This trial was conducted at two sites, one at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris, and the other at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton, MN. At each location, there were two plots: one managed by organic practices and the other was in conventional production. The Morris conventional trial was corn in 2017 and received 160-75-75-15 of fertilizer in the fall 2017. The organic trial was planted in a field that had previously been alfalfa for two years; manure was applied in the fall of 2017.

Weed control was excellent at the Morris organic site. No differences in population were noted between plots. Weed control methods for the organic test at Morris included one pass of a flex tine harrow at three inches, followed by one pass of row cultivation. Weed control methods for the organic test at Lamberton was two passes of a rotary hoe followed by one pass of row cultivation and hand weeding.   

Plots were four rows wide with 30-inch spacing, with a seeding rate of 35,000 seeds per acre. The Morris organic trial was planted May 21, 2018 and the conventional was planted May 17, 2018. The organic trial was harvested November 3, 2018 and the conventional trail was harvested October 27, 2018.  

Both Lamberton trials were planted on May 18; the conventional trial was harvested on October 17, 2018 and the organic trail was harvested on October 1, 2018.  Excessive rain fall during the growing year at Morris and Lamberton resulted in variable results and high LSD values.

Each trial was a randomized complete block test with three replications.  Data was analyzed by using Statistx version 10 software.

Morris Organic Trial

The ANOVA P value for yield was .002; LSD of .1 is reported. LSD .1 = 22.8 bu/acre.

Morris organic corn trial 2018

Morris Conventional Trial

The ANOVA P value for yield was .01; LSD of .1 is reported. LSD .1 = 27.9 bu/acre.

Morris conventional corn trial

Lamberton Organic Trial

The ANOVA P value for yield was .05 and a LSD of .1 is reported. LSD .1 = 27.1 bu/acre.

Lamberton organic corn trial 2018

Lamberton Conventional Trial

The ANOVA P value for yield was .004 and a LSD of .1 is reported. LSD .1 = 33.8 bu/acre.

Lamberton Conventional Corn Trial 2018

The WCROC would like to thank Albert Lea Seed and Blue River Hybrids for support of this project. We also thank Steve Quiring, Joel Ekberg, and Daniel Nelson for their technical support. View our 2017 corn trial results.