The effect of different sowing patterns and deficit irrigation management on yield and agronomic characteristics of sweet corn
Water stress restricts crop yields in both the arid and semi-arid zones of the world. The responses of sweet corn (Zea mays) to irrigation frequency and sowing patterns were studied in the field from December 2005 to December 2006. This research was laid out in split plot, with water quantity as main plot and sowing patterns as subplot in three replications. The treatments consisted of two irrigation times (6 and 10 days) and six levels of planting patterns (full irrigation in single row, changeable alternative irrigation in single row, full irrigation in double row, changeable alternative irrigation in double row, fixed alternative irrigation in single row and fixed alternative irrigation in double row pattern). The results show that, both biomass and stem fresh weight was affected by irrigation regimes, with normal irrigation treatments accounting for the highest. The effect of sowing patterns on all measured traits were significant at 1% level with the exception of plant height, ear depth, number of seeds/ear row and number of seeds/row. The results further demonstrate that water consumption in alternative furrow irrigation trait was worthwhile (35%) in contrast with control treatment. Although, the degree of decline in yield when compared with the control group was 3.4 and 5.2%, respectively, it was not statistically significant. The practice of alternative furrow irrigation may be recommended as a suitable farming method in northern Iran due to the benefits associated with it in terms of weeds reduction and providing soil ventilation.
Keywords: Deficit irrigation, double row, furrows irrigation, planting pattern, sweet corn