Performance of Maize Hybrids Grown in Conventional Row and Randomly Distributed Planting Patterns1
- J. J. Mock and
- L. C. Heghin2
Aerial seedings of maize (Zea mays L.) by farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt have been reported by the news media. However, there are no reports in the scientific literature of controlled experiments designed to study influences of random distributions of plants (the expected distributions with aerial seedings) on maize productivity.
Therefore, we conducted experiments in 1972 and 1973 to study effects of conventional row (spaced 102 cm apart) and randomly distributed planting patterns on growth and yield of two commercially available maize hybrids. In 1972, planting densities were 49,420 and 98,840 plants/ha, and in 1973 they were 39,536 and 79,072 plants/ha. Random planting patterns were obtained by casting heat-killed field peas on the ground within a plot area and hand-planting a maize kernel at each location of a pea. Both hybrids responded similarly to planting patterns each year. Percentage emergence, mature plant height, 50% pollen-shed, 50% silk-emergence, and number of ears/100 plants were not consistently influenced by planting pattern. Both years, however, significantly less grain was harvested from randomly planted than from row-planted plots (i.e., −20.2 q/ha and −12.6 q/ha for 1972 and 1973, respectively), and response to increased plant densities was consistently smaller in random than in row planting patterns. Also, grain weight per plant was less (i.e., −25.0 g/plant) in randomly planted plots.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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