Residue and agronomic management to reduce the continuous corn yield penalty

Alison M. Vogel, Frederick E. Below

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accelerated residue degradation and nutrient cycling will be necessary to maximize yield potential in corn (Zea mays L.) grown continuously and in other high-volume residue situations. This study aimed to test if residue management and agronomic inputs could lessen the continuous corn yield penalty (CCYP) compared to a corn following soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotation. Field experiments conducted during 2017 and 2018 at Champaign, IL, USA compared plots of 15th year continuous corn to long-term corn-soybean rotation plots. The previous year’s corn crop residue was either downsized (chopped) or harvested with standard knife rollers, with further chemical management of either a biocatalyst or ammonium sulfate, or it was left untreated. A standard management system of 79,000 plants ha−1 and a base rate of nitrogen fertilizer was compared to an intensive management system of 111,000 plants ha−1 with additional fertilizer and a foliar fungicide. Although continuous corn cropping stress was not detected until R2 (kernel blister stage), the CCYP was 1.30 Mg ha−1. Sizing residue enhanced overwinter residue decomposition and increased yield by 0.31 Mg ha−1 regardless of rotation and by 0.53 Mg ha−1 in continuous corn. Intensive inputs in combination with residue sizing increased grain yield of continuous corn by 1.15 Mg ha−1 over standard-management rotated yields. Therefore, combining mechanical and agronomic managements can reduce corn residue and the CCYP for more sustainable crop production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number567
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 20 2019


  • Calmer’s BT Chopper
  • Continuous corn yield penalty (CCYP)
  • Corn-soybean rotation
  • Extract PBA
  • Hybrid
  • Intensive management
  • Maize
  • Residue management
  • Sizing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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