Planting pattern effects on soil water and yield of summer maize


Productivity and water use efficiency are important problems in sustainable agriculture, especially in high-demand water resource crops such as maize (Zea mays L). The aims of this research were to study plant and row spac- ing in maize, evaluating soil water content (SWC), yield and water use efficiency (WUE). A 3-year field experiment (2011–2013) was carried out in the north of China. The summer maize experiment consisted of five types of row spacing under the same planting density. The results showed that the SWC in 90–120 cm was higher than 0–30 cm, and soil water storage was a significant regression with advancing growth stage. A negative correlation was observed among yield, WUE and row spacing. The average yield of RS50 and RS40 was by 9.6% higher than that of RS70 and RS80, and the WUE of the RS40 and RS50 were significantly higher than RS60, RS70, and RS80. The study also indicated that increased productivity and WUE of rainfed summer maize can be reached via row spacing reduction and plant spacing widening under same planting density, and RS50 cm is regarded as the best planting system selection for the plains of Northern China.


Zea mays, rainfed, row spacing, soil water content, water use efficiency

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