Effects of plant spacing and seed rate on leaf and grain production of maize (Zea mays L.) in southern Belize, Central America

D.E. Johnson, D. Wilman


Maize (Zea mays L.) was grown with different distances between stations (0.5 m × 0.5 m, 0.75 m × 0.75 m, 1 m × 1m, and 1.25 m × 1.25 m) and different numbers of plants per station (one, two, four and six) in southern Belize on land on which forest regrowth had been cut and left on the soil surface. The traditional practice was a spacing within the range 1–1.25 m × 1–1.25 m and four to six plants per station. Reducing the distance between stations to 0.75 or 0.5 m reduced the size of individual plants in terms of leaf size, number of leaves, total leaf area, weight of ears, numbers of grain, and 1000-grain weight, but increased the leaf area index and grain yield per hectare. Maximum grain yield was achieved at a spacing of 0.5 m × 0.5 m and one or two plants per station or a spacing of 0.75 m × 0.75 m ears compared with the traditional plant density.


Maize; Zea Mays; Spacing; Seed rate

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