Hassan, Mahmood Ul
University of Agriculture
Applied Sciences; Agriculture & related technologies; Field & plantation crops; Techniques, equipment & materials; Agronomy
Studies on productivity of maize hybrid under varying row spacing, time and method of nitrogen application and irrigation methods to maize were conducted at Agronomic Research Farm, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan during autumn 2006 and 2007. Two experiments were conducted. In Experiment I, row spacing; S 1 (60 cm spaced single rows), S 2 (90 cm spaced double row strips), S 3 (90 cm spaced single rows) and S 4 (135 cm spaced double row strips) were randomized in main plots while two methods of nitrogen application; N 1 (broadcast) and N 2 (band placement) were placed in sub plots. In Experiment II, three methods of irrigation application; I 1 (flood irrigation, I 2 (each furrow irrigation) and I 3 (alternate furrow irrigation) were kept in main plots while time of nitrogen application; N 1 (control), N 2 (1⁄2 N at sowing and 1⁄2 at Ist irrigation), N 3 (1⁄2 N at sowing and 1⁄2 at 45 DAS) and N 4 ( 1 / 3 N at sowing + 1 / 3 at Ist irrigation and 1 / 3 at 45 DAS) were randomized in sub plots. Results revealed that maize crop planted in 2006 performed better than that grown in 2007. On an average of two years, the crop planted at 90 cm spaced double row strips produced higher grain yield (6.31 t ha -1 ) which was 17.91, 10.35 and 8.24% higher compared to 60 cm spaced single rows, 90 cm spaced single rows and 135 cm spaced double row strips along with more number of grains cob -1 , higher 1000-grain weight and more grain weight per cob. Days taken to 50 % tasseling and silking were delayed in S 1 over rest of three row spacing. S 2 exhibited higher LAI, TDM, CGR and NAR followed by S 4 . Crude starch and protein content in grains were also found maximum in S 2 . Whereas the band placement of nitrogen produced higher grain yield (two years average 6.04 t ha -1 ), more number of grains per cob, number of cobs per plant, higher 1000- grain weight and more grain weight per cob over broadcast method. Band placement of N also produced taller plants and delayed tasseling and silking over broadcast. Similarly, higher LAI, TDM, CGR and NAR were recorded in band placement of nitrogen than broadcast. Moreover, the band placement of N was also found to be superior with maximum crude starch and protein content in grains over broadcast. On an average of two years, the highest net income (Rs. 72376 ha -1 and Rs. 67226 ha -1 ) was recorded in 90 cm spaced xviiidouble row strips (I 2 ) and band placement of nitrogen application (N 1 ), respectively. In 2 nd experiment, on an average of two years the irrigation to each furrow (I 2 ) produced more grain yield (6.08 t ha -1 ), harvest index, number of cobs plant -1 , grain weight cob -1 and higher 1000- grain weight compared to flood irrigation (I 2 ) and alternate furrow irrigation (I 3 ) . Similarly, the crop taken more days to tessel and silking in I 2 . I 2 exhibited higher LAI, TDM, CGR and NAR than rest of two irrigation methods. On an average of two years, three equal splits of (N 3 ) viz, 1/3 N at sowing + 1/3 at Ist irrigation and 1/3 at 45 DAS produced higher grain yield (5.72 t ha -1 ), more harvest index, more number of grains cob -1 , more number of cobs plant -1 , higher 1000- grain weight, more grain weight cob -1 . Days taken to tasseling and silking were delayed in N 3 . Likewise, higher LAI, TDM, CGR and NAR were recorded in case of N 3 . Crude starch and protein content in grains were found to be more in N 3 followed by N 2 and N 1 . Maximum nitrogen use efficiency (two years average 7.56 kg kg -1 and 8.93 kg kg -1 ) was recorded in irrigation to each furrow and N 3 , respectively. On average of two years, the I 2 x N 3 treatment combination was found superior with higher grain yield (6.75 t ha -1 ), nitrogen use efficiency (10.94 kg kg -1 ) and water use efficiency (16.63 kg ha -1 mm - 1 ) amongst many others. The irrigation to maize crop by each furrow with nitrogen application in three equal splits (at sowing, Ist irrigation and at 45 DAS) gave maximum net income amounting to Rs. 80509 ha -1 . For getting higher yield and economic returns, maize hybrids should be preferably planted at 90 cm spaced double row strips with three equal splits along with band application of nitrogen in three equal splits.