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Research Project: Enabling Management Response of Southeastern Agricultural Crop and Pasture Systems to Climate Change

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Maize (Zea mays L) cultivars nutrients concentration in leaves and stalks

Author
item Ferreira, Carla - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Motta, Antonio - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Barbosa, Julierme - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Dos Santos, Nicolas - Monsanto Corporation
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item Gabardo, Juarez - Universidade Federal Do Parana

Submitted to: Maydica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2014
Publication Date: 4/1/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5421324
Citation: Ferreira, C.F., Motta, A.C., Barbosa, J.Z., Dos Santos, N., Prior, S.A., Gabardo, J. 2014. Maize (Zea mays L) cultivars nutrients concentration in leaves and stalks. Maydica. 59(1):65-71.

Interpretive Summary: Crop residue removal for use as biofuel, animal feed, and animal bedding can increase nutrient loss from fields. Little information exists on the nutritional make-up of maize residue for the wide number of varieties used in Brazil. Leaf and stalk concentrations of P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Na, Zn, Cu, and C/P ratio were measured at maturity for varieties representing five technological levels (creole, commercial variety, single, double and triple cross hybrid). Genetic differences showed that P levels in leaves and stalks was inversely related to the technological level when simple hybrid was compared to creole cultivars. Similar results were observed for K, but it was not possible to establish an influence of maize selection on other nutrients. The C/P ratio of leaves and stalks showed the influence of technological level with high values for simple hybrids. Maize genetic selection seems to decrease P and K concentration for leaf and stalk residues, but more work is needed on how the decay of these residues influence nutrient availability over the long-term.

Technical Abstract: There is pressure for crop residue removal for use as biofuel, animal feed, animal bedding and many other functions which may increase nutrient export. However, there is little information about nutritional composition of maize stover considering the wide variability of cultivars used. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of maize cultivar on macronutrient (P, K, Ca, and Mg), micronutrient (Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) and Na concentration in leaves and stalks. We selected five pairs of cultivars, ranging from creole to high potential hybrid (creole, commercial variety, single, double and triple cross hybrid). The cultivars were cropped under field conditions in high fertile Rhodic Ferralsol Eutric during two growing seasons. The first was characterized by severe drought (2005/2006) while the second with an abundant water supply (2006/2007). The leaf and stalk concentrations of P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Na, Zn, Cu, and C/P ratio were quantified at maturation stage. The results indicated that the P concentration in leaves and stalks was inversely related to the technological level when simple hybrid was compared to creole cultivars. Similar behavior was observed for K in the leaf and stalk tissues. For Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, and Na, it was not possible to establish the influence of maize selection. The C/P ratio of leaves and stalks underwent influence of the technological level with high values for simple hybrids. Maize selection seems to decrease P and K concentration for two major residue fractions, leaves and stalks.