Hydrogel, biocompost and its effect on photosynthetic activity and production of forage maize (Zea mays L.) plants
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SummaryThe increase in the incidence and intensity of drought caused by climate change is a critical factor in agricultural production in some regions of the world. Dry lands are often severely affected by water shortages caused by low rainfall. This study evaluated the effect of compost and hydrogel used to retain soil moisture on photosynthetic activity and forage corn production. The experiment was designed as a randomized block with a split plot design; the main plots were the hydrogel application rates (0, 12.5 and 25 k.ha-1), and the subplots were the compost application rates (0 and 20 t ha-1). Photosynthetic activity increased by 20.2-28.0% when the hydrogel was applied at rates of 12.5 and 25 kg ha-1, respectively, compared with the control. As a result, the production of fresh forage increased from 19.5 t ha-1 in the control to 77.6 and 81.6 t ha-1 when the hydrogel was applied at rates of 12.5 and 25 kg ha-1, respectively. A similar effect was observed for dry matter production. The compost had a weakly effect on photosynthetic activity.
- Acta Agronómica