Dry Matter Accumulation and Depletion in Leaves, Stems, and Ears of Maturing Maize
Several maize hybrids were grown in experiments at two locations. Dried stems, leaves, and ears were weighed separately, at each of several dates of harvest. There was no significant hybrid ✕ harvest date interaction for any plant part. In one experiment, plants were cut 1½ internodes below the ear and the lower and upper portions were weighed separately, and in addition, husks were separated from leaves. Total dry weight increased significantly from the milk (12.91 metric tons/ha) to the soft dough (18.16 metric tons/ha) stage of maturity, but there was only a small and non-significant further increase to the mature stage (18.60 metric tons/ha). Ear weight increased significantly at each of the four successive harvest dates, increasing from 8.30 metric tons/ha at the soft dough to 10.56 metric tons/ha when mature. Leaf, husk, and stem weights each decreased significantly from the milk to the mature stage. Husks, upper leaves, and upper stalks showed the greatest decreases. The data indicate that most of the ear weight increases after the soft dough stage resulted from translocation of nutrients from other plant parts.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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