Changes in some physiological traits and yield of corn in response to cover crops

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Research Paper 01/01/2017
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Changes in some physiological traits and yield of corn in response to cover crops

Farhood Yeganehpoor, Saeid Zehtab-Salmasi, Soheila Dastborhan
J. Bio. Env. Sci.10( 1), 105-114, January 2017.
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Cover crops as living mulches can suppress weeds in agro-ecosystems and improve the quality and quantity of crop performance. Therefore, to evaluate the effect of cover crops on some physiological traits and forage yield of corn, a field experiment based on RCB design with three replications and 10 treatments was conducted at the Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Iran. The treatments included corn monoculture with weed control, corn monoculture with weed interference and intercropping of cover and medicinal plants (red clover, hairy vetch, basil and dill) as synchronic cultivation with corn and 15 days after corn planting. The results indicated that the lack of weed control in corn monoculture led to significant reduction of chlorophyll content index, leaf area index, received light, oil, protein, starch and ultimately forage yields of corn. The simultaneous cultivation of corn-cover crops, especially red clover, considerably improved all evaluated traits compared with delayed planting of cover crops. High chlorophyll content and leaf area index in corn-clover intercropping had a positive effect on received and absorbed light percentages, photosynthesis rate and ultimately forage yield. The high forage yield in synchronic cultivation of corn with clover can be due to rapid growth and high competitiveness of this forage legume in the early stage of growth. In general, simultaneous cultivation of corn with legume cover crops can considerably reduce weeds growth and establishment, leading to reduction of weed interference and increment of corn yield.


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