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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2021, Vol. 20 Issue (7): 1775-1782    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63245-2
Special Issue: 玉米遗传育种合辑Maize Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources 玉米耕作栽培合辑Maize Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation · Tillage
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Difference in corn kernel moisture content between pre- and post-harvest
LI Lu-lu, MING Bo, XUE Jun, GAO Shang, WANG Ke-ru, XIE Rui-zhi, HOU Peng, LI Shao-kun
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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The harvest method of shelling corn (Zea mays L.) kernels in the field decreases labor costs associated with transporting, drying and threshing the crop.  However,  it was previously found that the kernel moisture content increased after field harvest, which decreased the value of corn kernels.  To identify the reasons underlying the increase, we conducted a multi-year and -area trial in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, China and performed a staged-harvest test at several phases of kernel dry-down.  The test investigated a range of parameters such as the kernel moisture content pre- and post-harvest, the kernel breakage rate, the amount of impurities, and the moisture content of various other plant tissues.  An analysis of 411 pairs of pre- and post-harvest samples found that kernel moisture content after harvest was 2.2% higher than that before harvest.  In the staged-harvest test, however, a significant increase was only observed when the kernel moisture content before harvest was higher than 23.9%.  The increase in post-harvest kernel moisture content was positively associated with the pre-harvest kernel moisture content, breakage rate and impurity rate.  Typically, at harvest time in this region, there is a significant fraction of immature crops with a high moisture content, resulting in kernels that are prone to breakage or impurities that ultimately lead to increases in water content after harvest.  Therefore, we suggest using hybrids that quickly wither late in the growing stage.  Additionally, farmers should delay harvest in order to minimize the pre-harvest kernel moisture content and thus reduce breakages and impurities, thereby improving the quality of kernels after harvest and the efficiency of corn kernel farming in China.
Keywords:  kernel moisture content        pre-harvest and post-harvest        corn
Received: 06 January 2020   Accepted:
Fund: This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0300110), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31971849), the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-02-25), and the Science and Technology Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LI Shao-kun, Tel: +86-10-82108891, E-mail:; MING Bo, Tel: +86-10-82105791, E-mail:    
About author:  LI Lu-lu, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

LI Lu-lu, MING Bo, XUE Jun, GAO Shang, WANG Ke-ru, XIE Rui-zhi, HOU Peng, LI Shao-kun. 2021. Difference in corn kernel moisture content between pre- and post-harvest. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(7): 1775-1782.

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