56-1 The Solar Corridor: Origin, Concept and Potential Application for Crop Production.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Agronomic Production Systems
See more from this Session: Symposium--the Solar Corridor Concept
Monday, October 17, 2011: 8:05 AM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 214C
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Charles L. Deichman, Deichman Consulting, Shelbyville, MO
Early in my career I was fortunate to visit Johnny Pendleton's experiments at the U of Il. where he increased corn yields by redirecting a larger portion of the light flow onto the lower corn leaves.

Since then, I've been reflecting on how to most effectively apply the well-known principles that light is basic to crop yield, that chloroplasts hosted by green leaves catch incident sunlight, that enable the capture or bio-synthesis of CO2 and the subsequent production of carbohydrates that may be utilized by the reproductive &/or vegetative sinks as directed by enzymes(or limited by source supply)to produce crop yield. The Production environment and environment-specific genotype, dictates how well those principles perform. Accordingly, this has been the guiding goal of the work on what we now call the solar corridor crop system. The name, solar corridor, describes the basic component of the system, a corridor of incident sunlight between each row or preferably pair of rows, that enables a more uniform vertical distribution of incident sunlight to the chloroplasts within the entire canopy and offers the most effective system I know of, to maximize the above production principles. The site-specific variety/cultivar selection & production environment to maximize the variety specific productivity per unit area, has been the initial focus of the work. All of the statistically analyzed data we've reported to date has been limited to corn, grain yield per acre.

The yield data that has been presented and we will be reviewing holds great promise but lacks vital peer review studies for the scientific process to maximize the value of its basic role in meeting today's critical & growing demand for food, fuel, carbon sequestration and outsource resistant jobs! This chronological review is intended to set the stage for peer testing of the protocol offered in "Solar Corridor Hypothesis", Deichman & elson,(RA) at the '07 Annual Meetings.

Our 1st findings suggested that the corn hybrid used, is a pivital source of response variation. In our preliminary hybrid screening trials, 179 of the 1st( 200 high* yielding commercial corn hybrids tested, failed to meet our threshhold for further testing. The 4 that we chose for further testing have been reported in various ASA Annual Meeting paper & poster presentations. 

Hybridis one that we think is most representative of the 179 hybrids that gave the typical negative response. Hybrid B & C were chosen from about 20 that suggested a relatively similar but positive response. Hybrid D was chosen from its positive response that was unlike any of the other 20 suggested positive responders.  

After working intimately with those 4 hybrids I can conclude that the limitations inherent in choosing commercial hybrids of undisclosed genotypes did not constitute a problem for our further testing studies. The phenotypic characteristics of the 4 chosen for further study were profoundly different and remarkably stable over the years and environments.

Please refer to the detailed results we've presented at previous Annual Meetings. They speak for themselves, but if you allow me to preface with the following summary, the data show that Hybrids B,  C and D produced as much or more corn in one, (60 inch) 152.4 cm North/South twin row as in two, (30 inch) 76.2 cm rows in the control while preliminary data from 4 different crops suggest that we can produce an additional yield from another crop on the solar corridor floor where the vacated row would've been; without impacting corn yield. This is a vast area that needs further work to confirm the specifics!   

I stand ready to help as best I can and look forward to this morning's presentations and panel discussion, the subsequent results of the peer testing

of the proposed protocol and to the potential that may be enabled by this concept.

* 200 bu previous but unverified yields qualified as high. Each of the 4 hybrids chosen for further study confirmed that qualification.


See more from this Division: ASA Section: Agronomic Production Systems
See more from this Session: Symposium--the Solar Corridor Concept
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