Productivity of Sweet Maize (Zea mays L. Saccharata) and Nitrogen Supply Affected by Cultivation Systems in Non Typical Maize Climate

University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Pivola 10, 2311 Hoče, Slovenia


BAVEC, M., F. BAVEC, M. JAKOP, S. G. MLAKAR and M. FEKONJA, 2015. Productivity of sweet maize (Zea mays L. Saccharata) and nitrogen supply affected by cultivation systems in non-typical maize climate. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 21: 791–800

Cultivation system is a key factor in sweet maize production, especially for introduction of this underutilized vegetable into non typical - short season common maize environment (to FAO 400 group). The aim of three-year field experiment (northeastern Slovenia, loamy sand soil) was to define the effects of cultivation systems – hoeing frequency (1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 times) during the vegetation period and mulches (polyethylene black foil, wheat straw and hand cutting) – on soil mineral nitrogen (Nmin) and maize nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), growth and yield parameters. Higher hoeing frequencies significantly increased total yield (2.543 to 14.900 t/ha) and marketable fresh ear yield without husks (2.003 to 11.637 t/ha), as well as morphological parameters (plant mass, plant length, green mass, cob mass with husks, cob mass without husks, cob diameter, cob length and stem diameter; but not cob ratio). Polyethylene black foil mulch had significantly higher or equal effects on yield, growth parameters, NUE and soil Nmin as high hoeing frequencies. These results indicate opportunities for organic production of sweet maize even under European temperate climatic conditions.

Key words: sweet maize; hoeing; mulch; Nmin; growth; yield

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