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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 101 No. 2, p. 315-322
    Received: Apr 28, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): paganiagustin@hotmail.com


Characterization of Corn Nitrogen Status with a Greenness Index under Different Availability of Sulfur

  1. Agustín Pagani *,
  2. Hernán E. Echeverría,
  3. Fernando H. Andrade and
  4. Hernán R. Sainz Rozas
  1. Unidad Integrada INTA Balcarce-Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias UNMP, CC 276, 7620 Balcarce, Argentina


Several methodologies measure leaf greenness intensity and relate it to crop N status. There is no evidence, however, of the utility of this variable to detect N deficiencies in corn (Zea mays L.) under S deficiency. The objective of this work was to evaluate the potential of two indexes based on leaf greenness intensity to detect N deficiencies in corn under different levels of S. Two experiments at Balcarce, Argentina (Bce I and Bce II), and one at 9 de Julio, Argentina (9dJ), were conducted during the 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 seasons with different levels of N and S. Weekly measurements of greenness index (GI) were performed, and whole-plant samples were taken at four developmental stages to determine crop N and S accumulation. No N × S interaction was found in any measured variable. Nitrogen increased dry matter N and S accumulation, grain yield, and GI. Sulfur fertilization resulted in increased S accumulation in all experiments, and grain yield at Bce II and 9dJ. This nutrient also increased GI during several crop stages in all experiments. A nitrogen sufficiency index (NSI) was related to its relative yield (R 2: 0.67, 0.63, 0.43, 0.67 for stages V5–V8, V9–V11, V13–V14, and V15–V18, respectively) under different S levels. On the other hand, a new index called relative greenness index (RGI), proposed for situations that could present S deficiencies, was also related to its relative yield (R 2: 0.67, 0.81, 0.63, 0.82 for stages V5–V8, V9–V11, V13–V14, and V15–V18, respectively) under different S levels. The regression lines of both indexes were coincident for all sample dates. It was concluded that crop N status can be characterized under different levels of S through the NSI. Future research, however, should test these results under a wider range of S levels.

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Copyright © 2009. American Society of AgronomyCopyright © 2009 by the American Society of Agronomy