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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 77 No. 6, p. 909-912
    Received: Oct 11, 1984

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Whole-Plant Dry-Down Patterns of Short-Season Maize Hybrids1

  1. D. J. Major and
  2. G. B. Schaalje2



In semiarid regions, rapid decreases in whole-plant moisture content of maize (Zea mays L.) make it difficult to harvest large land areas for silage at the correct moisture content. The objective of this study was to determine the pattern of moisture loss from maize hybrids grown at Lethbridge, Alberta. Wet and dry weights of 20 commercial hybrids grown under irrigation in 1979, 1980, and 1981 on a Typic Haploboroll silty clay loam were determined at weekly intervals between early September and late October. A segmented regression analysis provided the most suitable model relating moisture content to thermal time. There was a decrease in moisture content of about 0.3% per day until a changeover point about 50 days after silking, and then moisture content decreased at the rate of about 2% per day. The changeover point may have coincided with physiological maturity. There were insufficient data after the first killing frost to detect any effect of frost on dry-down rate, nor were any hybrid differences detected although there were differences among years.

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