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Acta Agron Sin ›› 2012, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (10): 1864-1874.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2012.01864


Response of Grain Yield to Plant Density and Nitrogen Application Rate for Maize Hybrids Released from Different Eras in Heilongjiang Province

QIAN Chun-Rong1,3,YU Yang3,GONG Xiu-Jie3,JIANG Yu-Bo3,ZHAO Yang3,WANG Jun-He3,YANG Zhong-Liang4,ZHANG Wei-Jian1,2,*   

  1. 1 Institute of Applied Ecology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China; 2 Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences / Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology and Ecology, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, China; 3 Institute of Crop Cultivation and Farming, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150086, China; 4 Rice Institute of Wuchang, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuchang 150229, China
  • Received:2012-03-16 Revised:2012-06-20 Online:2012-10-12 Published:2012-07-27
  • Contact: 张卫建, E-mail: zhangweij@caas.net.cn, Tel:010-62156856


Eight typical maize hybrids released over 1970s to 2000s in Heilongjiang province were selected to investigate the productivity response to nitrogen fertilizer and plant density in 2009 and 2010. During the variety improvement period from 1970s to 2000s, the yield gains per plant and per unit area were 19.96 g 10 a-1 and 790 kg ha-1 10 a-1, respectively, while the rates of lodging and barren plant decreased significantly. The plant height, ear height, leaf area per plant, kernel number per ear and 1000-kernel weight of newer hybrids were higher than those of older varieties. For all hybrids released in each era, grain yield per plant decreased with increasing plant density, while grain yield per unit area showed a parabolic shape response. The theoretical optimal density for the highest yield rose by 3 507 plants ha-1 10 yr-1. The barren plant rates of all hybrids increased with the density increasing, and the lodging rates rose only for the older hybrids released in 1970s and 1980s. Higher plant population led to decreases in the agronomic indicators of plant height , leaf area per plant, kernel number per ear and 1000 kernel weight and the increase in the ear height. Higher nitrogen application rate tended to promote the agronomic indicators of plant height, ear height, leaf area and 1000-kernel weight. However, at the nitrogen application rate ranging from 150 kg ha-1 to 450 kg ha-1, no significant increase was found in the yields for all hybrids released in the same era. There were significant interactions among density, nitrogen and era on the yield and agronomic traits. Compared with the present situations of maize variety and cropping technique, the above results indicated that there are great potentials in yield gains from new variety breeding and cultivation technique innovation for higher-yield with higher-efficiency through increasing plant density with unchanged nitrogen application rate in Northeast China.

Key words: Northeast China, Food security, Maize variety, Era difference, High-yield with high efficiency

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