54-2 Phenology of Adapted and Non-Adapted Tropical Corn Genotypes in Central Iowa.
Renewable energy in the midwestern United States has largely focused on corn (Zea mays L.) grain ethanol production and most recently corn stover, lignocellulosic ethanol. Corn production in this region is profitable and productive. Alternatively, tropical corn genotypes have been evaluated mainly for grain production; nevertheless, yields have fallen short of U.S. Corn Belt populations. Tropical corn has high grain moisture at harvest, later flowering times, and taller plants. Tropical germplasm for temperate environments are not attractive for high grain yields, but show promising results for biomass potential through taller and more vigorous plants with thick stems and long leaves. The comparison between tropical corn and their adapted strains with a focus on biomass production has not yet been explored under Iowa day-length conditions. These findings could lead to developing genotypes with heightened biomass productivity.
This study identifies the adaptability of tropical genotypes by means of studying crop development. Field trials of three genotypes (Tuxpeno, Suwan, and Tuson) were established and planted at three different dates at the Sorensen Research Farm in Boone County, IA, US during the 2014 (7 May, 20 May, 3 June) and 2015 (13 May, 29 May, 9 June) growing seasons to evaluate their adaptation. Adapted tropical corn performed better for grain yields and grain development, while non-adapted tropical corn performed better for vegetative development and biomass yields. These results indicate a high potential for unadapted tropical corn for biomass production.