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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Growth and Yield of Ethephon Treated Maize1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 1, p. 130-134
    Received: Aug 28, 1985

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  1. T. D. Langan and
  2. E. S. Oplinger2



Ethephon (2-chloroethylphosphonic acid) has well-known effects on many horticultural crops and is effective as an antilodging agent for small grains. However, very few studies have tested its effects on maize (Zea mays L.). Field experiments were conducted during 1983 and 1984 on a Plano silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, mesic Typic Argiudoll) to study the effects of ethephon on maize. Ethephon was applied at rates from 0 to 840 g ha−1 at growth stage V10. Other treatments included populations from 64 200 to 133 330 plants ha−1 and row spacings of 0.38 and 0.76 m. Hybrids included Pioneer hybrids 3901 and 3780. Ethephon had highly significant effects on grain yield, plant height, ear height, and brace root development. Yield of hybrid 3901 generally decreased with increasing ethephon rate, while the lowest rate (140 g ha−1) increased yield of hybrid 3780 by as much as 0.7 Mg ha−1. Yield response of hybrid 3901 to ethephon was linear while that of hybrid 3780 was quadratic. Increasing ethephon rate decreased plant and ear height and promoted brace root development of both hybrids. Response of hybrid 3901 was greater than that of hybrid 3780. Low rates of ethephon can increase grain yield of maize.

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