Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Milander, J.J. 2015. Maize yield and components as influenced by environment and agronomic management. M.S. thesis. Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln


A thesis presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agronomy, Under the Supervision of Professor Stephen C. Mason. Lincoln Nebraska : February, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Jeremy J. Milander


Yield component analysis research on dent maize and waxy maize (Zea mays L.) as related to crop management is limited in Europe and the United States. Two research studies were conducted in 2012 and 2013 at Mead and North Platte, NE and Zagreb, Croatia with the objective to determine the influence of environment, water regime, hybrid, and plant population on maize yield and yield components. Grain yield, ears m-2, kernels ear-1, kernels row-1, rows ear-1, ear length and circumference, and kernel weight were measured. Environment and water regime altered maize yield components depending upon the timing and degree of stress present. Early-season stress reduced the number of ears m-2, late-season stress reduced kernel weight, and mid-season stress reduced the number of kernels m-2. The Mead 2013 environment produced the highest grain yield of 11.7 Mg ha-1, while the lowest average yield was 7.0 Mg ha-1 in the North Platte 2012 environment. Irrigation increased grain yield by 3.1 to 3.3 Mg ha-1 at Mead and 8.1-12.7 Mg ha-1 at North Platte. Hybrid altered yield and yield components, with the most differences in this study related to maturity classifications. Plant population had no effect on grain yield across populations which was 10.7 Mg ha-1. Ears m-2 increased from 6.6 to 9.4 with increasing plant population while the number of rows ear-1 decreased from 16.2 to 15.0, and kernels ear-1 from 546 to 410. Kernels ear-1 was the yield component most highly correlated with yield (R =0.47 to 0.78) in the plant population study and North Platte dryland environment for the waxy study, while kernel weight was the most highly correlated (R = 0.67) in the Mead and North Platte irrigated environments in the waxy study. Waxy maize was found to have a similar yield potential and interactions among yield components to dent maize. Results indicated that environment, plant population, hybrid and water regime affect maize grain yield and its components and that stress timing correlates with developing yield components.

Advisor: Steve Mason