Can Raised Beds and Fertilizer Management Improve Corn Yields?


  • Determine if corn yield can be enhanced with raised beds and fertilizer additives in heavy soils that are commonly subject to waterlogging.

Study Description


Locations: Fargo, Casselton and Prosper, ND, and Barnesville and Hitterdal, Minn.
Plots: 4 rows, 30-inch row spacing, 4 replications
Planting: Raised beds vs. conventional
Nitrogen Rates: 120, 160 and 200 lbs/acre
N Additives/Timing: 100% urea
  100% urea with Instinct®
  70% urea, 30% ESN®
  50% urea + 50% UAN applied at V6,
  50% urea + 50% UAN with AGROTAIN® PLUS applied at V6
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Raised beds with and without standing water.


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  • Raised beds offered no advantaged over conventional planting in the years/locations tested.
  • The 2012 season was dry and 2013 was wet early with periods of waterlogging in the spring. Establishing a uniform stand was more problematic on beds and may be 1 reason for the lower yields with raised beds in Prosper and Casselton.
  • N fertilizer additives/timings tended to slightly improve yields over the urea treatment.
  • There were no interactions between fertilizer management and planting method.

Research conducted by Joel Ransom, North Dakota State University Extension Service, as a part of the Pioneer Crop Management Research Awards (CMRA) Program. This program provides funds for agronomic and precision farming studies by university and USDA cooperators throughout North America. The awards extend for up to 4 years and address crop management information needs of Pioneer agronomists, Pioneer sales professionals and customers. Additional funding for this research provided by the ND Corn Council.

2013 data are based on average of all comparisons made in 6 locations through November 5, 2013. Multi-year and multi-location is a better predictor of future performance. Do not use these or any other data from a limited number of trials as a significant factor in product selection. Product responses are variable and subject to a variety of environmental, disease, and pest pressures. Individual results may vary. All products are trademarks of their manufacturers.