Water Use and Grain Yield in Drought-Tolerant Corn in the Texas High Plains Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 by the American Society of Agronomy, 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711. All rights reserved. Drought is an important factor limiting corn (Zea mays L.) yields in the Texas High Plains, and adoption of drought-tolerant (DT) hybrids could be a management tool under water shortage. We conducted a 3-yr field study to investigate yield, evapotranspiration (ET), and water use efficiency (WUE) in DT hybrids. One conventional (33D49) and 4 DT hybrids (P1151HR, P1324HR, P1498HR, and P1564HR) were grown at three water regimes (I100, I75, and I50, referring to 100, 75, and 50% ET requirement) and three planting densities (PD) (5.9, 7.4, and 8.4 plants m-2). Yield (13.56 Mg ha-1) and ET (719 mm) were the greatest at I100 but WUE (2.1 kg m-3) was the greatest at I75. Although DT hybrids did not always have greater yield and WUE than 33D49 at I100, hybrids P1151HR and P1564HR consistently had greater yield and WUE than 33D49 at I75 and I50. Compared to 33D49, P1151HR and P1564HR had 8.6 to 12.1% and 19.1% greater yield at I75 and I50, respectively. Correspondingly, WUE was 9.8 to 11.7% and 20.0% greater at I75 and I50, respectively. Greater PD resulted in greater yield and WUE at I100 and I75 but PD did not affect yield and WUE at I50. Yield and WUE in greater PD (8.4 plants m-2) were 6.3 to 8.3% greater than those in smaller PD (5.9 plants m-2). The results of this study demonstrated that proper selection of DT hybrids can increase corn yield and WUE under water-limited conditions.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hao, B., Xue, Q., Marek, T. H., Jessup, K. E., Becker, J., Hou, X., ... Howell, T. A.

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Hao, B||Xue, Q||Marek, TH||Jessup, KE||Becker, J||Hou, X||Xu, W||Bynum, ED||Bean, BW||Colaizzi, PD||Howell, TA

publication date

  • January 2015