Yield and quality of forage maize (Zea mays L.) with different levels of subsurface drip irrigation and plant density

CP Yescas, MA Segura C, L Martínez C, VP Álvarez R, JA Montemayor T, JA Orozco V, JE Frías R


The scarcity of water in arid and semiarid regions of the world is a problem that every day increases by climate change. The subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) and changes in population density of plants are alternatives that can be used to make a sustainable use of water. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the combination that allows for an increased corn performance and efficient use of water without losing the quality of forage. Three different irrigation levels were applied through a system of a SDI at three different densities of forage maize plants in an arid region. The results demonstrated that by applying different levels of water, either enough or lack of soil moisture is created, which is directly reflected in crop yield, and its determining variables such as green forage and dry matter yield, and nutritional quality. The irrigation level to a 100% of potential evapotranspiration (PET), at a density of 80000 plants/ha, increased yield of green forage to 57664 kg/ha; crude protein was 8.59%, while the rest of the quality parameters decreased. This study allowed to conclude that the irrigation level was the major factor in the response of the crop.

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Phyton. International Journal of Experimental Botany. ISSN print 0031-9457 ISSN en line 1851-5657 Fundación Rómulo Raggio Gaspar Campos 861,  Vicente López, Buenos Aires, Argentina (C.P. 1638) Tel 54 11 4791-0868 / 4796-1456 revistaphyton@fund-romuloraggio.org.ar www.revistaphyton.fund-romuloraggio.org.ar