Effect of Plant Density on Growth and Yield of Maize [Zea mays (L.)] Hybrids at Luyengo, Middleveld of Eswatini

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Ndzimandze Sibonginkosi
Mabuza Mzwandile
Tana Tamado


Maize is staple food and the most cultivated crop in Eswatini. However, its yield is very low partly due to use of non-optimum plant density for different maturity group maize varieties. Thus, an experiment was conducted at Luyengo, Middleveld of Eswatini during the 2018/2019 cropping season. The experiment consisted of factorial combinations of two varieties [SC 403 (early maturing) and PAN 53 (medium maturing)] and three plant densities (44444 plants/ha, 50000 plants/ha, 57143 plants/ha) in randomised complete block design in three replications. Results showed that medium maturing maize variety PAN 53 had higher leaf area, leaf area index, plant height, cob height (139.4 cm), days to 90% anthesis (69 days), dry biomass, thousand kernels mass (374.0 g), grain yield (43.1 t/ha), and stover mass (59.8 t/ha) than the early maturing variety SC 403. With respect to the effect of plant density, as the plant density increased from 44444 to 57143 plants/ha, leaf area, dry biomass at V12 and R5 growth stages, number of cobs per plant, grain yield, stover mass, and thousand kernels mass (g) were decreased while the leaf area index was increased. The interaction effects of variety and plant density were not significant on all the parameters recorded. Thus, it can be concluded that medium maturing variety PAN 53 and plant density of 44444 plants/ha (90 cm ´ 25 cm) are best options to maximum productivity of maize in the study area. However, it is recommended that the experiment be repeated with inclusion of more varieties and densities to reach at more conclusive recommendation.

Maize hybrids, PAN 53, plant density, SC 403, yield.

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How to Cite
Sibonginkosi, N., Mzwandile, M., & Tamado, T. (2020). Effect of Plant Density on Growth and Yield of Maize [Zea mays (L.)] Hybrids at Luyengo, Middleveld of Eswatini. Asian Plant Research Journal, 3(3-4), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.9734/aprj/2019/v3i3-430066
Original Research Article


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