The effect of different levels of N fertilizer on yield and yield components of maize (Zea mays L.) under competition with different densities redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) and millet (Panicum miliaceum L.)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph. D. Student of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Zabol University, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Agroecology, Envionmental Science Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor, Departmet of Weed Research, The Iranian Plant Protection Institute, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Agroecology, Envionmental Science Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

5 Ph. D. Student, Department of Agroecology, Envionmental Science Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


In order to study the competition effects of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) and millet (Panicum miliaceum) on maize performance under different rates of N fertilizer, a field experiment was conducted in 2009 in the research fields of Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran as a randomized complete block design with factorial arrangement of treatments and three replications. Accordingly, three factors included nitrogen fertilizer (75% optimum or 138 kg N ha-1, optimum or 184 kg N ha-1 and 125% optimum or 230 kg N ha-1), weed species (redroot pigweed and millet) and weed densities (5 and 25 plants m-1 for redroot pigweed and 7.5 and 37.5 plants m-1 for millet) consisted. Results showed that the highest grain yield (921.89 g m-2) was achieved in treatment 230 kg N ha-1 while the lowest yields (466.72 g m-2) belonged to treatment millet fertilized with 138 kg N ha-1. High densities of millet and redroot pigweed resulted in significant reductions in number of grains per row and the ear length. Differences in N application rates cause significant variations in biological yield and some of the yield components of maize. Overall, results indicated that in fields where a nitrophile species is the dominant, increasing N application rate beyond the optimum not only does not increase maize grain yield but also reduces its yield and causes pollution of environment.


Main Subjects

  1. Baghestani, M.A., Zand, E., Soufizadeh, S., Eskandari, A., PourAzar, R., Veysi, M. & Nassirzadeh, N. (2007). Efficacy evaluation of some dual purpose herbicides to control weeds in maize (Zea mays L.). Crop Protection, 26, 936-942.
  2. Barker, D.C., Knezevic, S.Z., Martin, A.R., Walters, D.T. & Lindquist, J.L. (2006). Effect of nitrogen addition on the comparative productivity of corn and velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti). Weed science, 54, 354-363.
  3. Blackshaw, R.E., Brandt, R.N., Janzen, H.H., Entz, T., Grant, C.A. & Derksen, D.A. (2003). Differential response of weed species to added nitrogen. Weed Science, 51, 532-539.
  4. Cathcart, R.J. & Swanton, C.J. (2004). Nitrogen and green foxtail (Setaria viridis) competition effects on corn growth and development. Weed science, 52, 1039-1049.
  5. Costa, C., Stevart, L.M. & Smith, D.L. (2002). Nitrogen effects on grain yield and yield components of early and nonleafy maize genotypes. Crop Science, 42, 1556-1563.
  6. DiTomaso, J.M. 1995. Approaches for improving crop competitiveness through the manipulation of fertilization strategies. Weed Science, 43, 491-497.
  7. Fisk, J.W., Hesterman, O.B., Shrestha, A., Kells, J.J., Harwood, R.R., Squire, J.M. & Sheaffer, C.C. (2001). Weed suppression by annual legume cover crops in no tillage corn. Agronomy Journal, 93, 319-325.
  8. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). (2012). FAOSTAT, from:
  9. Gill, G. & Davidson, R. (2000). Weed interference. In: B. M. Sindel (Ed), Australian Weed Management Systems. (pp. 61–80.) RG and FJ Richardson.
  10. Haas, H. & Streibig, J.C. (1982). Changing patterns of weed distribution as a result of herbicide use and other agronomic factors. In: H.M. LeBaron & J. Gressel (Ed.), Herbicide Resistance in Plants. (pp. 57-79.) John Wiley and Sons.
  11. Harbur, M.M. & Owen, M.D. (2006). Influence of relative time of emergence on nitrogen responses of corn and velvetleaf. Weed science, 54, 917-922.
  12. Jans, W.W.P., Jacobs, C.M.J., Kruijt, B., Elebrs, J.A., Barendse, S. & Moors, E.J. (2010). Carbon exchange of a maize (Zea mays L.) crop: Influence of phenology. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 139, 325-335.
  13. Jones, R.J. & Simmons, S.R. (1983). Effect of altered source – sink ratio on growth of maize kernels. Crop Science, 23, 129-134.
  14. Lack, Sh., Naderi, A., Siadat, S.A., Ayenehband, A. & Noormohammadi, Gh. (2006). Effect of different levels of nitrogen and plant density on grain yield and its components and water use efficiency of maize (Zea mays L.) cv. SC. 704 under different moisture conditions in Khuzestan. Iranian Journal of Crop Sciences, 2, 153-170. (in Farsi)
  15. Lemerle, D., Gill, G.S., Murphey, C.E., Walker, S.R., Cousens, R.D., Mokhtari, S., Peltzer, S.J., Coleman, R. & Luckett, D.J. (2001). Genetic improvement and agronomy for enhanced wheat competitiveness with weeds. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 52, 527-548.
  16. Liu, Y., Li, S., Chen, F., Yang, S. & Chen, X. (2010). Soil water dynamics use efficiency in spring maize (Zea mays L.) fields subjects to different water management practices on the loess Plateau, China. Agricultural Water Management, 97, 769-775.
  17. Naderi, R. & Ghadiri, H. (2010). Competition of wild mustard (Sinapis arvense L.) densities with rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) under different levels of nitrogen fertilizer. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, 13, 45-51.
  18. Oerke, E.C. & Dehne, H.W. (2004). Safeguarding production losses in major crops and the role of crop protection. Crop Protection, 23, 275-285.
  19. Panda, R.K., Behera, S.K. & Kashyap, P.S. (2004). Effective management of irrigation water for maize under stressed conditions. Agricultural Water Management, 66, 181-203.
  20. Ponce, R.G. (1988). Competition between Avena sterilis ssp. macrocarpa Mo. and cultivars of wheat. Weed research, 28, 303-307.
  21. Rahimi Moghaddam, S. (2013). Determination of genetic coefficients of some maize (Zea mays L.) cultivars in Iran to be applied in crop simulation models. M.Sc. Thesis. Environmental Sciences Research Institute (ESRI), Departeman of Agroecology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. 88 Pp. (in Farsi)
  22. Reed, A.J., Singletary, G.W., Schuster, J.R., Williamson, D.R. & Christy, A.L. (1988). Shadding effects on dry matter and nitrogen partitioning, kernel number and yield of maize. Crop Science, 28, 819-825.
  23. Rohrig, M. & Stutzel, H. (2001). A model for light competition between vegetable crops and weeds. European Journal of Agronomy, 14, 13-29.
  24. Sarabi, V., Nassiri Mahallati, M., Nezami, A. & Rashed Mohassel, M.H. 2010. Effects of common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.) emergence time and density on growth and competition of maize (Zea mays L.). Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research, 5, 862-870. (in Farsi)
  25. SAS Institute. (2008). The SAS System for Windows, Release 9.2. Statistical Analysis Systems Institute, Carry, NC, USA.
  26. Sepehri, A., Modarres Sanavi, S. A., Gharehyazi, B. & Yamini, Y. (2002). Effect of water deficit and different nitrogen rates on growth and development stages, yield and yield component of maize (Zea mays L.). Iranian Journal of Crop Sciences, 4, 184-200.
  27. Sibuga, K. P. & Bandeen, J. D. (1980).  Effects of various densities of green foxtail (Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv.) and lamb's-quarters  (Chenopodium album L.) on nitrogen uptake and yields of  corn. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 43, 214-221.
  28. Sinclair, T.R. & Horie, T. (1989). Leaf nitrogen, photosynthesis, and Crop Use Efficiency: A Review. Crop Science, 29, 90-98.
  29. Sofi, P.A. & Rather, A.G. (2007). Studies on genetic variability, correlation and path analysis in maize (Zea mays L.). Maize Genetics Co-operation News let, 81, 26-27.
  30. Soufizadeh, S., AghaAlikhani, M., Bannayan, M., Zand, E., Hoogenboom, G. & Mosadegh Manschadi, A. (2011). The effect of nitrogen on yield and yield components of maize (Zea mays L.) under competition with redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) and proso-millet (Panicum miliaceum L.). Journal of Agroecology, 2, 17-33. (in Farsi)
  31. Taghizadeh, R. & Seyed Sharifi, R. (2011). Effect of Nitrogen Fertilizer on Yield Attributes and Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Corn Cultivars. Journal of Science Technology of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Water and Soil Science, 15, 209-217. (in Farsi)
  32. Teasdale, J.R. & Cavigelli, M.A. (2010). Subplots facilitate assessment of corn yield losses from weed competition in a long-term systems experiment. Agronomy for sustainable development, 30, 445-453.
  33. Teyker, R.H., Hoelzer, H.D. & Liebl, R.A. (1991). Maize and pigweed response to N supply and form. Plant Soil, 135, 287-292.
  34. Tollenaar, M., Nissanka, S., Aguilera, P., Weise, A. & Swanton, C.J. (1994). Effect of weed interference and soil nitrogen on four maize hybrids. Agronomy Journal, 86, 596-601.
  35. Vail, G.D. & Oliver, L.R. (1993). Barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli) interference in soybeans (Glycine max). Weed Technology, 220-225.
  36. Wiebold, B. & Scharf, P. (2006). Potassium deficiency symptoms in drought stressed crops, plant stress resistance and the impact of potassium application in south China. Agronomy Journal, 98, 1354-1359.
Volume 47, Issue 3 - Serial Number 3
January 2017
Pages 437-449
  • Receive Date: 10 May 2015
  • Revise Date: 31 December 2015
  • Accept Date: 03 January 2016
  • Publish Date: 21 November 2016