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Influence of Corn (Zea mays L.) Cultivar Development on Grain Nutrient Concentration

Ferreira, Carla Fernanda, Motta, Antonio Carlos Vargas, Prior, Stephen A., Reissman, Carlos Bruno, dos Santos, Nicolas Z., Gabardo, Juarez
International journal of agronomy 2012
Zea mays, calcium, climate, copper, corn, crop production, crop quality, cultivars, genetic variation, hybrids, iron, landraces, magnesium, manganese, nutrient content, nutrients, phosphorus, plant breeding, plant-water relations, potassium, rain, seed maturation, soil fertility, soil water content, soil-plant interactions, soil-plant-atmosphere interactions, zinc, Brazil
While corn productivity has been increased by the adoption of high-yield hybrids, there are concerns that increased grain potential may be associated with diminished grain nutrient concentration. Ten corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars representing five technological levels (landrace variety, commercial variety, and double, triple, and single cross-hybrids) were cropped on a Rhodic Ferralsol Eutric soil with high fertility in 2006 (dry year) and 2007 (normal year) in Rolândia County, Brazil. At maturity, grain was evaluated for concentrations of P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu. In general, differences among cultivars were noted for all nutrients in both years. Concentrations of P, K, Fe, and Mn were lower in the dry year, while Ca, Mg, Cu, and Zn were higher. Soil water availability appeared to exert more influence on grain nutrient concentration than did cultivar development; nutrient removal due to grain harvest was also greatly influenced by rainfall patterns and their impact on corn productivity. Even though genetic differences were noted, which may be useful to breeding programs, long-term testing in subtropical environments will be required to clarify the interaction between genetics and climate events on grain nutrient quality and exportation.