18. Dynamics of dry matter accumulation in the initial…

18. Dynamics of dry matter accumulation in the initial growth period of maize (Zea mays L.)Piotr Szulc, Tadeusz Michalski, Hubert Waligóra, Kamila Nowosad, Jan Bocianowski, Dominika Radzikowska, Wojciech Waniorek

Abstract.

The study presents the results of 3-year field tests, the aim of which was to assess the dynamics of initial growth of maize (Zea mays L.) of „stay-green” and classical cultivars characterized by different genetic profile depending on the method of application of nitrogen fertilizer and nitrogen-magnesium fertilizer. The development of annual grain crops, such as maize is divided into a number of development stages, each of which performs a specific role in the life cycle. In the juvenile stage, i.e. from the 6th to the 12th leaf, the maize builds its potential yield structure, because at that time ears are formed and the number of rows in an ear is determined. Understanding the dynamics of initial growth, which is dependent on the selection of cultivars and fertilization, is therefore a very valuable achievement of the study because the yield of maize is closely correlated with the dynamics of the initial growth and nutritional status in the juvenile phase. It was found that band fertilisation, in comparison with broadcast fertilisation and in-row application supplemented with topdressing at the BBCH 15/16 phase, had positive impact on the initial rate of maize growth. The ES Paroli “stay-green” cultivar, in comparison with the traditional ES Palazzo, exhibited faster rate of dry matter increase at the initial stages (BBCH 16/17) of the development. The most significant differences showing the advantages of the “stay-green” cultivars in comparison with the traditional cultivar, as far as the characteristics under examination are concerned, were found with regard to broadcast-applied nitrogen fertiliser. The differences between “stay-green” and conventional cultivars in features tested in dry matter weight and in dry matter content per plant were smaller for banded vs. broadcast fertiliser application and were the smallest with banded application supplemented with topdressing at the BBCH 15/16 stage.

keywords:  Zea mays L., stay-green, initial growth