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Title:Management of higher populations in maize
Author(s):Becker, Ryan
Advisor(s):Below, Frederick E.
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
higher plant densities
row configuration
Abstract:While increasing plant density is a promising strategy for higher grain yield in maize, high plant populations must be managed to lesson plant competition. Previous research has focused on different management strategies for higher plant densities, mainly row configuration, but rarely a combination of strategies. The initial experiment for the 2010 growing season was conducted in Lewisville, IN to examine the main effects and interactions of plant density, row configuration, and additional fertility on grain yield and yield components. One commercial hybrid (DKC 61-21 SSTX) was grown in two row configurations (single or twin) at different plant density levels (86, 99, 111, 124, 136 and 161 plants ha-1 x 1,000). MESZ (MicroEssentials SZ) was banded within the row at planting at one of the following rates in terms of P2O5 (0, 56, 112, 168 kg ha-1). Plant density was the most influential factor in limiting grain yield, which may have been influenced by hybrid selection. The placed fertilizer was beneficial for grain yield and vegetative growth, but was not able to overcome the yield limiting effects of high plant density. Also, row configuration resulted in higher yields for single rows than twin rows at higher levels of plant density. From the 2010 experimental results, revisions to the experimental design were made for 2011. In 2011, research was conducted in Champaign, IL using two hybrids (61-21 SSTX and CG 7505 VT3/P) with the same row configurations and fertilizer rates. However, plant density treatment factors were reduced to four levels (62, 86, 111, and 136 plants ha-1 x 1,000) due to a constant decline in average grain yield associated with increasing plant densities in 2010. For 2011, fertility and plant density exhibited similar results to the 2010 experiment, but the inclusion of a second hybrid was the most important finding. Yield differences between hybrids did not exist when averaged across all other treatments; however, kernel number and weight were significantly different and these differences accentuated grain yield under different management strategies. The selection of hybrids that can maintain a high kernel weight, without significantly reducing kernel number, is essential towards increasing yield through the use of higher plant densities.
Issue Date:2012-05-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Ryan Becker
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-22
Date Deposited:2012-05

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