Grain yield and water use efficiency of maize as influenced by different irrigation regimes through sprinkler irrigation under temperate climate
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In Vojvodina region, water deficit during the growing season is a major factor limiting maize production. Therefore, to achieve the ideal soil water content in this region, it is of crucial importance to optimize irrigation. The effects of different irrigation levels with sprinkler irrigation system on crop yield, yield components, water use, water (WUE) and irrigation water use (IWUE) efficiency of maize (Zea mays L) were investigated in Vojvodina (northern Serbia), on a Calcaric Chernozem soil in temperate environment for 3 consecutive years (2006-2008). Maize was subjected to four irrigation regimes, as follows: non limited irrigation (I-100), 75% of non-limited irrigation (I-75), 50% of non-limited irrigation (I-50), and rainfed (non-irrigated) as the control (I-0). The irrigation treatments were arranged in a complete randomized block design with 4 replicates. Results showed that maize grown in rainfed conditions had high annual variability, mainly due to amount of rainfall and it...s distribution during the crop-growing seasons. A significant irrigation effect was found for yield, yield components and others investigated parameters under study. Water stress had significant impact on yield response: as an average of the three years, a grain yield increase of 47.8, 32.8, and 22.9% was observed in I-100, I-75 and I-50 treatments compared to rainfed (I-0) treatment, respectively. Yield increased linearly with seasonal crop evapotranspiration and irrigation amount. Furthermore, WUE is maximized with a moderate water deficit (I-50), while IWUE is the highest in I-100 treatment. The deficit irrigation stress index, DISI, decreased with increasing irrigation rate. The results revealed that irrigation is necessary for maize cultivation because rainfall is insufficient to meet the crop water needs in Vojvodina. In addition, the study indicated that the irrigation regime of 25% water saving (I-75) could ensure satisfactory grain yield of maize and increment of WUE.
Keywords:Zea mays / Deficit irrigation / Yield components / IWUE / Yield response factor
Source:Agricultural Water Management, 2016, 169, 34-43
- Elsevier Science Bv, Amsterdam