Dry Season Sweet Corn Response to Mulching and Antitranspirants1
- G. M. Shekour,
- R. A. I. Brathwaite and
- C. R. McDavid2
Sweet corn (Zea mays L. var. saccharata Sturt.) production in Trinidad and Tobago is limited to the rainy season, and the country's requirements is met mainly through imports. Extending the production period into the dry season is desirable for increased local production. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of lucuntu grass (Ischaemum timorense Kunth.) mulch and the antitranspirants phenylmercuric acetate (PMA), alachlor [2-chloro-2'-6'-diethyl-N-(methoxymethyl)-acetanilide], and Vapor Card (poly-1-p-menthen-8-9-diyl) on the growth and yield of dry-season cropped sweet corn. The replicated field trial was established on a River Estate loam (Fluventic Eutropept) at Valsayn, Trinidad and Tobago. The mulch (3.5 Mg/ha) was applied at 38 days after planting (DAP), and the antitranspirants (79.9 and 106.5 g/ha and 24.4 L/ha, respectively) at 38 and 52 DAP. The mulch and antitranspirant treatments resulted in mean increases in plant height and leaf area of 21.1 and 4.8, and 34.5 and 5.7%, respectively, and fresh ear and total dry matter mean increases of 75.0 and 20.0, and 89.7 and 42.0%, respectively, as compared to the limited irrigated control. Only the mulched treatment produced growth and yield similar to the irrigated control. Mulching, PMA, and Vapor Gard, in descending order, were found promising in conserving moisture and improving yield.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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