Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Drought incidences change with year and location, and are prevalent in the Southern High Plains where annual rainfall is low and highly variable and most maize and other crops are irrigated. The low rainfall and groundwater overuse are leading to shortages of water for crop irrigation in this region. Full-season maize hybrids require greater amounts of water throughout the growing season than short-season hybrids. The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 has already imposed water restrictions and has proposed a limit of 15 acre-inches of water per year in this district. This restricted amount of water, plus precipitation, may not be enough for full-season hybrids, but may be sufficient for short-season hybrids. Herein, the objectives of the study were to test short-season hybrids for adaptability and performance in the Southern High Plains and to identify highly productive short-season hybrids under limited irrigation. Twenty-eight commercial hybrids from the three major seed companies and two experimental hybrids from Texas A&M AgriLife Research, ranging from 75-115 day relative maturity (RM), were grown in 2011 and 2012 at Etter and Halfway, Texas. Two watering treatments, 100% and 75% of evapotranspiration levels, were applied at each location. Under these four environments, hybrid performance was measured on the basis of various morphological traits, insect and disease damage, and yield components. Hybrids under 90 day RM flowered 5-10 days earlier and had shorter plant height. Insect and disease damage to ears were different among hybrids and associated with the presence of recessive genes. The highest yielding hybrid was Dekalb 64-69 with 114 day RM and produced 280 bu/ac, while the hybrids with 75-95 day RM yielded 125 to 225 bu/ac.