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International Research Journal of Plant Science

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Effects of deficit irrigation on winter silage maize production in Zimbabwe

Abstract

Rusere F, Soropa G, Svubure O, Gwatibaya S, Moyo D, Ndeketeya A, Mavima G.A

A study was carried out to determine the effects of deficit irrigation on silage maize production at Clysdale farm in Banket, Mashonaland West province of Zimbabwe. The experiment was carried out on three main plots representing three treatments with six replications for each treatment. The three treatments were irrigating at 100% (T 100), 80% (T 80) and 60% (T 60) of crop water requirements. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design. Water use efficiency, cob yield, leaf area and total fresh yield were determined. The results showed that leaf area, total fresh yield and cob yield decreased by 13.38%, 22.18% and 15.23 respectively while water use efficiency increased by 15.87 % under T80 treatment during the 2008 season. For T60 leaf area, total fresh yield and cob yield decreased by 30.59%, 39.66% and 27.08% while water use efficiency increased by 31.46% during the 2008 season. The same trend was observed again for T80 in 2009 where leaf area, fresh yield and cob yield decreased by 15.99%, 16.47% and 11.23% respectively while water use efficiency increased by 18.1%. For T60 during the same season leaf area, fresh yield and cob yield decreased by 35.2%, 42.37% and 25.94% respectively while water use efficiency increased by 28.39%. From the experiment it can be concluded that deficit irrigation results in a significant decline in silage maize yield and an increase in water use efficiency.

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