Optimal time of the day for controlled maize pollination in rain forest agro-ecology of south-eastern Nigeria
Prevailing weather condition dictates the extent of success for controlled pollination in any given location for any crop and therefore is critical to final yield in Maize. A field experiment was conducted at the Centre for Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE) Farm of Federal University of Technology, Owerri (Latitude 050, 30” N, Longitude 070 O2” E) during the 2015 and 2016 planting seasons., to determine the optimal time of the day for controlled hand-pollination on maize performance. The treatments constitute three maize accessions and hand pollination done between 7.30 am to 9.30am; 10.00am to 12.00noon; and 12.30pm to 2.30pm. The 3 x 3 factional experiment was laid out in Randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four (4) replications. Data collected in the two years were pooled as there was no significant difference and thereafter subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA), and means separated using-least significant difference (LSD) at 5% level of probability. No significant difference was observed in the growth and yield attributes with respect to time of day for hand pollination when averaged across the accessions. However, based on cob weight and number of grains, Nwoba white accession performed better than the other accessions between the pollination time of 7.30am to 9.30am. Therefore controlled hand pollination in maize could be carried out between 7.30am and 2.30pm, but between 7.30am and 9.30am could give a better performance.
Keywords: Maize, optimal-time, hand-pollination, rain-forest and accession