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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 81 No. 1, p. 95-99
    Received: Aug 25, 1987

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Phosphorus Nutritional Requirement of Maize Seedlings for Maximum Yield

  1. D. A. J. Barry  and
  2. M. H. Miller
  1. Dep. of Land Resource Sci. Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1



In a maximum yield experiment in Ontario, Canada, response of maize (Zea mays L.) to greater than recommended P fertilizer applications seemed to result mainly from improved P nutrition of seedlings. A 2-yr study was conducted to determine the effect of P nutrition during the seedling stage on final yield. An outdoor, hydroponic system was used to vary P nutrition during growth and provide adequate levels of all other nutrients and water. Plants receiving the greatest or an intermediate P concentration solution had P concentrations of 7.2 and 4.4 g kg−1, respectively, at the 6-leaf stage, whereas plants receiving the least P concentration solution had a shoot P concentration of 2.8 g kg−1. Plants that received the intermediate or least P solutions until the 6-leaf stage but then received the greatest P solution to maturity attained shoot P concentrations of at least 5.0 g kg−1 8 d after increasing the P solution concentration. Grain yield was greater on treatments receiving the greatest P solution from the beginning than from the 6-leaf stage (8.2 vs. 7.2 t ha−1), mainly because of a greater kernel number. Kernel number was most sensitive to P nutrition during the period from planting to the 6-leaf stage. A shoot P concentration of at least 5.0 g kg−1 at the 6-leaf stage was required to obtain maximum yield.

Contribution from the Dep. of Land Resource Sci., Univ. of Guelph.

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