Yield of organically grown maize hybrids as affected by two green manure crops in Greece

Panagiotis Kanatas1*, Ilias Travlos2, Ioanna Kakabouki2, Panagiota Papastylianou2, and Ioannis Gazoulis2
The effects of two manure crops on the yield of organically grown maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids were evaluated during the growing seasons 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. The experimental treatments included the use of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and white clover (T. repens L.) as green manure crops and an untreated control treatment. 'Factor', 'Dracma', and 'Brasco' were the maize hybrids studied. A split plot design was employed with three replicates. The results of ANOVA indicated that the number of kernels per row as well as number of kernels per plant and weight of 1000 kernels were affected by the different green manure treatments (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively). Trifolium pratense residuals increased maize grain yield by up to 6% as compared to control treatment during the first year. Similar were the corresponding results recorded during the second experimental year. Trifolium repens green manure increased maize yield by approximately 5% during either the first or the second experimental year as compare to control treatment. Maize grain yield was influenced by the factor of hybrid either in the first or in the second year of the experiment (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively) and ‘Factor’ was by 5%-6% and 10%-11% more productive than 'Dracma' and 'Brasco'. In conclusion, the results of the present study proved that both red and white clovers were beneficial for the productivity of maize crop under the climatic conditions of Greece, while the selection of the appropriate hybrid can further improve grain yield.
Keywords: Grain yield, green manure, maize hybrid, organic farming, Trifolium pratense, Trifolium repens.
1Agricultural Cooperative of Mesolonghi-Nafpaktia, 30200 Mesolonghi, Greece. *Corresponding author (pakanatas@gmail.com).
2Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Crop Science, Laboratory of Agronomy, 75 Iera Odos str., 11855, Athens, Greece.