Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New AgriLife Research germplasm, irrigation management make a difference in corn production

28.09.2011
Germplasm and stay-green technology utilized by Texas AgriLife Research corn breeders could make growing corn on limited water a greater possibility in the near future, according to AgriLife Research studies.

Thomas Marek, AgriLife Research irrigation engineer and superintendent of the North Plains Research Field near Etter, walked through fields of corn this year that showed a stark contrast between existing commercial corn varieties and experimental germplasm developed by Dr. Wenwei Xu, AgriLife Research corn breeder in Lubbock.

In a research project designed to pump only 12 inches of irrigation to supplement whatever Mother Nature provided and still grow 200 bushels of corn per acre, 2011 showed the extreme differences irrigation and germplasm can make on a crop, Marek said.

It also showed the production risks and costs associated with potential limits on irrigation water for a high water-use crop, he said.

The research project is jointly sponsored by the North Plains Groundwater District and the Ogallala Aquifer program.

"This was an extremely dry year as we had no soil moisture. And we only received a little over 2 inches of total rain during the entire growing season, with most coming too late to help production," he said. "We were expecting on average a 10-inch contribution.

"Our irrigation goal with the project was to get the corn crop up, manage the limited irrigation water to pollination, and then let the 'rainfall chips' fall where they may with the three varieties," Marek said.

The plots were 12 rows wide, 300 feet long with four replications each at four plant populations.

Within the commercial varieties in this extremely dry year, some individual corn plants have no ears and some have relatively small ears, he said.

However, growing right next to these varieties under the same conditions is an experimental variety being developed by Xu that has nearly full ears. Marek said the difference is in the germplasm and stay-green, which is a drought-resistance trait.

"There's a marked difference in the stress conditions of these commercial corn plots versus the experimental varieties," he said.

The experimental germplasm variety has a pretty good sized ear on the plants and the plant exhibits good turgor pressure or plant strength, Marek said. The experimental variety that had not been irrigated in a month "still looked strong and green" in September, while the commercial varieties were beginning to dry out.

"It was apparent the commercial varieties were severely stressed, more so than the experimental variety," he said.

"These types of germplasm being developed by Dr. Wenwei Xu will be integrated into the commercial varieties through the corporate commercial companies' breeding programs," he said. "The desired traits that are being derived through the AgriLife Research corn breeding program will be integrated into those new proposed varieties."

But Marek said germplasm alone won't be enough to sustain a corn crop through a summer like the one just experienced. Even in wetter years, greater production on less inputs are going to be required to feed the increasing global population of the world.

"The irrigation management or scheduling plays a vital role, up to 50 to 60 percent," he said. "It's paramount to get the combination of irrigation and genetics correct to achieve these types of production levels.

"These particular germplasms show extreme promise," Marek said. "But it's a synergistic effect where you need both genetics and irrigation management if you are going to derive the potential of the new variety going forward, especially in extreme and limited water conditions, which are prevalent throughout the Great Plains region."

Thomas Marek | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device

18.08.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>