American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Corn (Zea Mays L.) Plant Characteristics and Grain Yield Response to N Fertilization Programs in No-Tillage System

Kesi Liu and Pawel Wiatrak

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2011.172.179

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 1

Pages 172-179


Problem statement: Nitrogen application timing and Nitrogen (N) rate are two important factors to influence corn production in No-Tillage (NT) system, but N recommendations may need to be revised due to insufficient rainfall in dryland rain-fed environment. Approach: This study was to determine the effects of two N application timing (planting and split application at planting and V6 corn growth stage) and five N rates (0, 45, 90, 135 and 180 kg N ha−1) on corn plant characteristics and grain yield under rain-fed and low corn yield environment. Plant characteristics included the measurement of plant height, ear height, relative chlorophyll content (SPAD) and normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Results: Plant height and ear height at R1 stage, SPAD at R1 and NDVI at V8 and R1 increased significantly with increasing N rates, while N application timing had no effect on measured canopy characteristics. Grain yield increased from 2.2-3.8 Mg ha−1 as N rate changed from 0-180 kg ha−1. However, applying more than 90 kg N ha−1 did not significantly increase grain yields. The N application timing did not influence yield. Strong correlations were observed among corn plant characteristics and between plant NDVI at V8 and R1 stages and grain yields. Conclusion: These results indicate that N application timing was not important factor to affect corn plant characteristics and grain yield under rain-fed and low corn yield dryland conditions and we may not expect a significant grain yield increase with application exceeding 90 kg N ha-1 under these conditions. Plant NDVI at V8 and R1 stage could be a good indicator to predict corn grain yield.


© 2011 Kesi Liu and Pawel Wiatrak. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.