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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2021, Vol. 20 Issue (10): 2627-2638    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63401-3
Special Issue: Maize Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources Maize Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation · Tillage
Crop Science Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Does nitrogen application rate affect the moisture content of corn grains?
ZHANG Yuan-meng1, 2*, XUE Jun2*, ZHAI Juan1, 2, Zhang Guo-qiang2, ZHANG Wan-xu1, 2, WANG Ke-ru2, MING Bo2, HOU Peng2, XIE Rui-zhi2, LIU Chao-wei1, LI Shao-kun1, 2 
1 Key Laboratory of Oasis Eco-Agriculture, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps/Agricultural College, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, P.R.China
2 Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology and Ecology, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
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Nitrogen fertilizer application is an important measure to obtain high and stable corn yield, and the moisture content of corn grains is an important factor affecting the quality of mechanical grain harvesting.  In this study, four different nitrogen fertilizer treatments from 0 to 450 kg ha–1 pure nitrogen were set for a planting density of 12.0×104 plants ha–1 in 2017 and 2018, and 18 different nitrogen fertilizer treatments from 0 to 765 kg ha–1 pure nitrogen were set for planting densities of 7.5×104 and 12.0×104 plants ha–1 in 2019, to investigate the effect of nitrogen application rate on the moisture content of corn grains.  Under each treatment, the growth of corn, leaf area index (LAI) of green leaves, grain moisture content, and grain dehydration rate were measured.  The results showed that, as nitrogen application increased from 0 to 765 kg ha–1, the silking stage was delayed by about 1 day, the maturity stage was delayed by about 1–2 days, and the number of physiologically mature green leaves and LAI increased.  At and after physiological maturity, the extreme difference in grain moisture content between different nitrogen application rates was 1.9–4.0%.  As the amount of nitrogen application increased, the corn grain dehydration rate after physiological maturity decreased, but it did not reach statistical significance between nitrogen application rate and grain dehydration rate.  No significant correlation was observed between LAI at physiological maturity and grain dehydration rate after physiological maturity.  In short, nitrogen application affected the grain moisture content of corn at and after physiological maturity, however, the difference in grain moisture content among different nitrogen application rates was small.  These results suggest that the effect of nitrogen application on the moisture content of corn grains should not be considered in agricultural production.
Keywords:  nitrogen        corn        grain moisture content        leaf area index        physiological maturity  
Received: 27 February 2020   Accepted: 09 August 2021
Fund: This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0300605), the China Agriculture Research System of MOF and MARA (CARS-02-25) and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LI Shao-kun, Tel: +86-10-82108891, E-mail:    
About author:  ZHANG Yuan-meng, E-mail:; XUE Jun, E-mail:; * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

ZHANG Yuan-meng, XUE Jun, ZHAI Juan, ZHANG Guo-qiang, ZHANG Wan-xu, WANG Ke-ru, MING Bo, HOU Peng, XIE Rui-zhi, LIU Chao-wei, LI Shao-kun. 2021. Does nitrogen application rate affect the moisture content of corn grains?. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(10): 2627-2638.

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