101(3)_str32

 

ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 101, No. 3 (2014), p. 249–256
DOI  10.13080/z-a.2014.101.032

The effects of nitrogen fertilization strategies on the productivity of maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids

Shahid IQBAL, Haroon Zaman KHAN, EHSANULLAH, Muhammad Shahid Ibni ZAMIR, Muhammad Waseem Riaz MARRAL, Hafiz Muhammad Rashad JAVEED

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) is one of the major limitations to crop productivity. Therefore, a field study was conducted to examine the impacts of N application strategies: N1 – 20% of N at sowing through broadcast + 79% N at mid-season through fertigation + 1% of N at flowering through foliar application, N2 – 40% of N at sowing through broadcast + 59% of N at mid-season through fertigation + 1% of N at flowering through foliar, N3 – 60% of N at sowing through broadcast + 39% of N at mid-season through fertigation + 1% of N at flowering through foliar, N4 – 80% of N at sowing through broadcast + 19% of N at mid-season through fertigation + and 1% of N at flowering through foliar and N5 – 100% of N at sowing through broadcast, on the productivity of maize hybrids (H) single cross-6142 (H1) and double cross-4444 (H2) over a 2-year period, 2010–2011. During both years, N strategies and maize hybrids differed significantly for all the observed traits of yield and quality. The highest biological yield (16.99–17.62 t ha-1) and grain yield (6.83–7.16 t ha-1) were recorded by using the strategy N3. Similar trends were also observed for other traits except the grain oil content which was the maximum (3.38–3.98%) at N5. However, in both years, maximum biological yield (14.83–15.69 t ha-1) and grain yield (5.01–6.02 t ha-1) were evident in H1. The interactive effect of H1 ´ N3 gave maximum biological yield (17.55–20 t ha-1) and grain yield (7.53–8.83 t ha-1). In 2010 and 2011, the highest net income (1220–1272 USD ha-1) and benefit cost ratio (2.52–2.56) was also attained at H1 × N3. In conclusion, our results suggested that maize productivity (grain yield up to 5.01–6.02 t ha-1) could be improved on economic basis (benefit cost ratio up to 2.52–2.56) by growing the single cross hybrid-6142 (H1) with N application strategy N3.

Key words: nitrogen application, quality components, yield, Zea mays.

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