Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Plant and Soil Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Chad Lee

Abstract

Modern genetics have improved maize hybrids to better tolerate stress, use nutrients more efficiently and potentially yield higher. Management practices, such as narrow row technology and high plant population density (PPD) may further improve yields in modern maize under irrigated, non-limiting conditions. High PPD (74, 99, 124, 148 K seeds ha-1) were tested in narrow rows with up to four nitrogen (N) rates in three locations over two years in Kentucky with a modern maize hybrid in irrigated, non-limiting conditions. Results indicate that optimal seeding rates were 99,000 to 124,000 seeds ha-1, providing maximum yield and highest partial return, likely due to increasing seed number ha-1 and greater canopy closure, although seed size declined and pollination was more asynchronous as PPD increased. Excess N did not overcome silking delay or the decline in kernel mass associated with higher PPD, indicating 252 kg N ha-1 was adequate for high yields at any population, although data indicates better utilization of supplied N at higher populations. Implications can be used to implement better management techniques in high-yielding maize to supplement use of improved genetics.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.045

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