Effect of seeding rate on selected physical parameters and biomass yield of maize

Andrzej Anders1*, Piotr Markowski1, Stanisław Konopka1, Zdzisław Kaliniewicz1, Adam Józef Lipinski1, and Dariusz Jan Choszcz1
Plant morphology is affected by plant density and uniformity of plant distribution per unit area. This study investigates the effect of seeding rate of two hybrid cultivars of maize (Zea mays L.) harvested for silage on selected physical parameters (stem length, stem diameter, total plant weight and weight of ears with husks), fresh weight yield and ear yield of maize plants. A field experiment was carried out in 2011-2013 on soil of weak rye complex ('Kosmo') and a good rye complex (‘Kixxo’). Results were processed by one-way ANOVA, correlation analysis and regression analysis. At constant 0.75 m inter-row spacing, seeding rate (6.5 to 11.9 seeds m-2 for 'Kosmo' and 8 to 12 seeds m-2 for 'Kixxo') significantly (α = 0.05) influenced evaluated parameters. Higher plant density lowered the weight of plants and ears, and resulted in lower stem diameter. An increase in seeding rate led to a decrease in stem diameter measured at 50, 100 and 150 cm above ground (by ca. 11% to 23% in ‘Kosmo’, and by ca. 3% to 13% in 'Kixxo'), and an increase in stem length (by 10% to 13% in 'Kosmo', and by ca. 8% in 'Kixxo'). Plants grown with lower seeding rates were larger and heavier. The developed equations are characterized by a good and very good fit to empirical data (multiple correlation coefficient ranged from 0.62 to 0.94 in 'Kosmo', and from 0.76 to 0.95 in 'Kixxo'). This knowledge of the morphological traits of maize is useful to optimize operating parameters of harvesting machines.
Keywords: Ear yield, maize, physical parameters of plants, regression equations, total yield.
1University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Department of Heavy Duty Machines and Research Methodology, ul. Oczapowskiego 11, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland.
*Corresponding author (anders@uwm.edu.pl).