Response of Zea mays L. to a “Light Rich” Field Environment1
- J. W. Pendleton,
- D. B. Egli and
- D. B. Peters2
Many past studies with Zea mays L. evaluated the effect of artificial shade or a reduced light environment on corn production. The response of this crop to a “light rich” environment was investigated over a 2-year period at Urbana, Ill., where other ecological factors were deemed adequate.
Grain yields were greatly increased by growing plants in front of large reflectors. Theoretical yields of 23,710 kg/ha (377 bu/acre) were obtained. Border plants in the “light rich” environment had more tillers, more plants with two ears, shorter stalks with greater diameter, and a slightly larger leaf area than plants from inner rows or normal border rows. These studies suggest that under field conditions all leaves on corn plants are not light saturated, even at low rates of planting, and, therefore, light appears to be the primary ecological factor limiting the grain yield of this crop when grown under highly productive conditions.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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