International Journal of Plant and Animal Sciences Vol. 1 (3), pp. 042-048, June, 2013. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Yield and Growth Response of Maize (Zea Mays L. S. C.  704) to Surfactant under Deficit Irrigation

S. Mehrvarz1, M. R. Chaichi1, M. Hashemi2, M. Parsinejad3

1Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

2Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, U. S. A.

3Department of irrigation and reclamation engineering, College of Agriculture and natural resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

*Corresponding author. Email: smehrvarz@ut.ac.ir

Accepted 8 April, 2013

Abstract

The increasing scarcity of water for irrigation is one of the major challenges for forage producers in all arid and semi-arid regions.  Surfactants can be used to mitigate this problem by increasing the speed of water penetration in the soil and reducing water loss through evaporation.  A pot experiment was conducted to determine the ability of surfactant to hold water in the soil to promote forage corn growth and development under water deficit irrigation regimes. Pots were arranged in a three-replicated factorial design with three irrigation regimes of irrigation after 30%, 60%, and 90% of field capacity water depletion combined with and without application of surfactant.  The results showed that application of surfactant increased plant height.  The highest plant dry matter was obtained from irrigation after 30% and 60% field capacity depletion along with surfactant application, respectively. Moreover, application of surfactant positively and significantly influenced leaf dry matter, stem dry matter, root dry matter, and leaf/stem ratio under deficit irrigation regimes. 

Key words:  Corn, growth characteristics, surfactant, water deficit, Irrigation regimes.