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Maize Response to a Deficit-irrigation Strategy in a Dry Region

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  RRV15-035,  ASABE/CSBE North Central Intersectional Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/rrv15-035) @2015
Authors:   Samia Amiri, Mahdi Gheysari, Todd P. Trooien, Parvaneh Asgarinia, Zahra Amiri
Keywords:   Corn, irrigation management, root dry matter, water tension, Zea mays L.

Abstract. To efficiently irrigate agricultural crops; particularly in regions of water scarcity, good understanding of crop reaction to water tension is essential. In this respect, a pot experiment was performed to quantify the responses of below- and above-ground biomass of silage maize (Zea mays L.) to various levels of applied water during growth stages in 2009. Irrigation levels were three deficit-irrigation levels-severe (W1), moderate (W2), and mild (W3) levels-- and one full-irrigation level (W4). Total aboveground biomass (TB), root dry matter (RB), and root:shoot ratio (RSR) were measured during 16-leaf stage (G16), tasseling stage (Gt) and milk stage (Gm) under each irrigation level. Generally speaking, increasing water-tension level resulted in decreased RB and TB. However, interestingly, switching from W3 to W2, as less water was applied, higher root dry matter was attained. It is likely due to adaptability of root to water-deficit condition after experiencing primary water stress from W4 to W3. Furthermore, intensifying water stress resulted in higher RSR during growth stages except from W2 to W1. Studying crop reactions to simultaneous effects of water deficit on below-and above-ground characteristics during the growing season can lead us to selecting an appropriate irrigation management.

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