10 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND The effect of a water-saving irrigation regime on yield, chemical composition, rumen in situ dry matter disappearance (DMD) and neutral detergent fiber disappearance (NDFD), along with 7 h in vitro starch degradability (7 h IVSD), in maize hybrids selected for whole-plant silage making was investigated. A plot experiment was conducted in a continental climate location and four commercial maize hybrids (FAO class 700) were used in a completely randomized design with a factorial arrangement of irrigation treatments (fully irrigated (FI) and water-saving regime (WS)) and four replicates/treatment. The total amount of irrigation water was 494 mm in FI plots and 367 mm in WS plots, the latter achieved by skipping irrigations at vegetative growth stage, silking and blistering. RESULTS Whole-plant yield, chemical composition, DMD, NDFD and 7 h IVSD slightly differed among hybrids and were not influenced by irrigation treatments. Plant dry matter content was lower in FI than WS plots (320 vs. 341 g kg−1, respectively; P < 0.05). Differences among hybrids were recorded for starch and acid detergent fiber contents (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS The lack of differences on yield and nutritive value in tested maize hybrids grown under different water supply suggests the water-saving regime could be suitable for an optimal use of available water in maize management. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3040-3045
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • chemical composition
  • maize silage
  • rumen degradability
  • water saving


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