Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol. 22, April Suppl. Issue 2016; Page No.(97-103)

EFFECT ON YIELD, QUALITY PARAMETERS AND NUTRIENT UPTAKE STUDIES OF BIOFORTIFIED CORN WITH SOIL AND FOLIAR APPLIED ZINC

Partha Debnath, S. Hemalatha and Suman Bhowmik

Abstract

A field experiment entitled biofortification with zinc in speciality corn was conducted on sandy loam soils of Maize Research Center, Agricultural Research Institute, Rajendranagar during kharif, 2013 to study the effect of zinc nutrition in speciality corn. The experiment consisted of eighteen treatments viz., combination of three types of Speciality corn [Pop corn, Sweet corn and Quality protein maize (QPM)] and six zinc levels [Zn0: no zinc, Zn1: 12.5 kg ZnSO4 ha-1 as soil application, Zn2: 25 kg ZnSO4 ha-1 as soil application, Zn3: Zn1 + 2 Foliar sprays at tasseling and milking stage, Zn4: Zn2 + 2 Foliar sprays at tasseling and milking stage, Zn5: 2 Foliar sprays at tasseling and milking stage. A fertilizer dose of 180 kg N, 60 kg P2O5 and 50 kg K2O ha-1 was commonly applied to all the treatments, which were replicated thrice in a randomized block design. Green cob yield of Sweet corn was significantly high and highest and lowest grain yields were recorded with QPM and Pop corn respectively. Likewise Sweet corn produced maximum green fodder yield compared to stover yield of QPM and Pop corn. Soil application of 25 kg ZnSO4 ha-1 along with two foliar sprays at tasseling and milking stage recorded significantly higher grain yield/ green cob yield, stover yield/ green fodder yield compared to all other zinc treatments. Harvest index of Sweet corn was maximum (44.05%) compared to QPM (42.06%) and Pop corn (38.80%). Higher harvest index (41.74%) was produced with soil application of ZnSO4 @ 25 kg ha-1 along with two foliar sprays, while lowest is with no zinc (41.30%). Protein content of grain was signficantly improved in QPM followed by Pop corn and Sweet corn. Starch content was maximum in Sweet corn followed by QPM and Pop corn. Significantly higher quality parameters like protein and starch contents were recorded in combined application of 25 kg ha-1 ZnSO4 as soil with two foliar sprays compared to all other Zn levels. Nutrient uptake (N, P, K) by grain was maximum in Sweet corn and in higher dose of ZnSO4 (25 kg ha-1 as soil + 2 foliar sprays). Higher zinc uptake and zinc concentration in plant (leaves) was noticed with QPM and in case of grain zinc uptake is more with Sweet corn and zinc content in QPM. Among the six zinc levels maximum zinc content and zinc uptake was noticed with 25 kg ZnSO4 ha-1 along with 2 foliar sprays at tasseling and milking stage (Zn4) both for plant (leaves) and grain. Interaction effect between types of corn and zinc levels are found non significant for yield, quality parameters and uptake studies.

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