Articles

Growth, yields and nitrogen use of open pollinated and hybrid maize (Zea mays L) as affected by organic matter and its placement in minor seasons of Asia


Abstract


Sustainable maize (Zea mays L) production in smallholder cropping systems of South Asia require combinations of organic matter and mineral fertilizers, especially nitrogen, when the crop is subjected to water stress in the minor seasons. As the cultivation of hybrid maze is being promoted in these nations, field studies over two minor seasons evaluated the impact of three types of common organic materials and their method on incorporation on root growth, seeds yields and nitrogen use patterns of an open pollinated (OPV) and a hybrid variety of maize. The growth and yields of the OPV were higher than those of the hybrid, illustrating the greater adaptability of this variety to the drier conditions of minor seasons. The least beneficial impact of organic matter on growth, yield and nitrogen use was with rice straw, a low quality organic matter, while Tithonia leaves promoted root growth. Application of Gliricidia leaves produced the highest yields followed by the use of Tithonia. N use patterns were enhanced to similar extents by the addition of Tithonia and Gliricidia leaves, and the beneficial impact was greater than when rice straw was used. Incorporation enhanced the benefits of the organic matter, especially in the hybrid, which produced lower yields, which is considered less adaptable to the environments of this season. The benefits of using good quality organic matter and its incorporation on maize growth, productivity and the utilization patterns of nitrogen in the minor dry seasons of South Asia was evident in this field study.

Keywords

maize varieties; organic matter placement; minor seasons; yelds; N use; Asia

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