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Title: Use of Kernel milk line to determine an appropriate stage of harvesting maize grain.
Authors: Mpofu, Sithandiwe
Keywords: kernel milk line
harvest maturity
maize ('Zea mays L) grain
small scale farming methods
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Publisher: Lupane State University
Abstract: The project was carried out to evaluate the time for harvesting maize ('Zea mays L) grain at its best physiological quality and the use of kernel milk line as an indicator of the harvest maturity. The study also assessed the methods used by small scale farmers to determine the harvest maturity for maize grain. The study was carried out in Ntabazinduna, uMguza District where the survey was conducted and the maize was grown in plots. Varieties SC401, SC403and SC513 were grown. Then sampling was done at four stages which were 40 days after female flowering, 47 days after female flowering, 55days and 62 days after female flowering. Grain dry weight, moisture content, dryness of the stalk and the grain milk line development were analysed. The physiological quality of the grain was assessed using a combination of those four characteristics. The milk line at stage four proved to be the best indicator of the time to harvest maize grain for maximum physiological quality because different stages of kernel milk line development in maize grain could be easily identified in the field without any special equipment and it proved to be more accurate. The study showed that the kernel milk line development was due to a reduction in the grain moisture content as the endosperm was solidifying and during that process the dry weight was increasing. There was a significant dependence of the moisture content on the stage of maturity of the maize grain. The survey showed that most farmers in Ntabazinduna were using the black layer formation, the dryness of the stem and the leaves as indicators of harvest maturity. They had no idea on the relevance of kernel milk line so it was recommended that they get trained on its use.
Appears in Collections:Department of Crop and Soil Science

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