Corn Growth in Sediment Amended Plots

Corn Growth at University of Illinois' Kilbourn Researh Farm in Mason Co. - Sediment Amended Vs. Native Sandy Soil

As part of the Illinois River restoration effort, the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center (IDNR) is investigating potential uses of sediment. Dr. Robert Darmody of the University of Illinois amended plots of sandy soil with various amounts (3 - 12 inches) of sediment. Physical traits of the soil in the plots as well as corn and soybean growth and yields are being studied. Sandy soil is common along the river. In areas like Mason County, it is heavily irrigated. This project will help determine if adding sediment to these soils could improve yield and reduce the need for irrigation. The above pictures were taken during corn harvest. Results will be published after analysis is completed.

John Marlin posing in front of short corn that only comes up to his waist

Researcher in front of corn plants on Sept. 9, 2003. This corn was grown in a plot of local sandy soil with minimal irrigation.

John Marlin standing in front of the tall corn which is higher than his head

Corn plants grown in sandy soil plot amended with Peoria Lake sediment. Irrigation, fertilization and other factors were the same for all plots.

researcher holding bags of corn yields: left bag from the short corn has small ears of corn and the bag is only a third of the size of the tall corn bag on the right which has big healthy ears of corn

These bags of corn were harvested from the same number of corn plants. The bag on the left was grown in local sandy soil. The bag on the right is from a sediment amended plot.

big healthy corn in hand with rich black soil; small sick corn in hand with light brown soil

The hand on the left contains sediment amended soil and a typical ear of corn it produced. The other hand has the sandy soil and a typical ear it produced.