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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Influence of Corn (Zea mays L.) Cultivar Development on Residue Production

item Dos Santos, Nicolas
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item Gabardo, Juarez
item Valaski, Julio
item Motta, Antonio
item Ferreira Neto, Antonio

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/13/2011
Publication Date: 3/19/2012
Publication URL:
Citation: Dos Santos, N., Prior, S.A., Gabardo, J., Valaski, J., Motta, A., Ferreira, N.A. 2012. Influence of corn (Zea mays L.) cultivar development on residue production. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 35(5):750-769.

Interpretive Summary: Corn genetic selection can influence biomass production and tissue quality. Varieties representing different degrees of breeding development used in Brazil were evaluated (i.e., landrace, commercial variety, double cross, triple cross, and single cross hybrids). The hybrids (primalrly single cross) generally had higher residue C concentration and lower residue N concentration than the landraces and commercial varieties. The results suggested that genetic improvement programs have not only changed yields but have also altered residue production and composition. This work demonstrated that the breeding process can select plants that increase yield and the amount of C that is returned to soil which may influence soil C dynamics.

Technical Abstract: The amount and composition of crop residues added to soil in agricultural systems can influence decomposition processes and soil organic matter levels. This study aimed to evaluate residues (quantity and quality) of different corn cultivars commonly used in Brazilian cropping systems. The experiment was conducted for two seasons (2005/06 and 2006/07) on a Rhodic Ferralsol Eutric soil at the Monsanto Company Experimental Station, Rolândia County, Paraná State, Brazil. Ten corn cultivars that represent five degrees of breeding development (i.e., landrace, commercial variety, double cross, triple cross, and single cross hybrids) were evaluated. At final harvest, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) of non-yield residue and grain were determined. Except for grain C, other measures (grain N concentration, residue C and N concentration, and C:N ratio) varied among cultivars. In general, the hybrids (particularly single cross hybrids) had higher residue C, and lower residue N concentrations than the landraces and commercial varieties. Findings suggest that breeding selection may have altered residue production and composition which may influence soil C dynamics.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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