[Temporal and spatial variation of the optimal sowing dates of summer maize based on both statistical and processes models in Henan Province, China]

Mei-xiu Tan, Jing Wang, Wei-dong Yu, Di He, Na Wang, Tong Dai, Yan Sun, Jian-zhao Tang, Qing Chang
Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao, the Journal of Applied Ecology 2015, 26 (12): 3670-8
Sowing date is one of the vital factors for determining crop yield. In this study, temporal and spatial variation of optimal sowing date of summer maize was analyzed by statistical model and the APSIM-Maize model in Henan Province, China. The results showed that average summer maize optimal sowing dates ranged from May 30 to June 13 across Henan Province with earlier sowing before June 8 in the southern part and later sowing from June 4 to June 13 in the northern part. The optimal sowing date in mountain area of western Henan Province should be around May 30. Late-maturing variety Nongda 108 should be planted at least two days earlier than middle-maturing variety Danyu 13. Under climate warming background, maize sowing should be postponed for at least 3 days if maize harvesting date could be delayed for a week. It was proposed that sowing should be delayed for about a week for a yearly less precipitation pattern while advanced for about a week for a yearly more precipitation pattern compared to the normal one. Across Henan Province, the optimal sowing dates of summer maize showed no significant change trend in 1971-2010, while the potential sowing period had been extended for some regions, such as south from Zhumadian, Yichuan, Nei-xiang and Nanyang in the middle part of Henan, Linzhou in the northern Henan and Sanmenxia in the western Henan, as a result from advanced maturity of winter wheat due to increasing temperature and winter wheat cultivar change. Optimal sowing dates at 76.7% of the study stations showed no significant difference between the two methods. It was recommended that the northern Henan should sow maize immediately after any rainfall and replant afterward, while the southern Henan should not sow maize until that there were valid precipitation (3.9 mm and 8.3 mm for upper south and south parts, respectively) during sowing period, both required enough precipitation during key water requirement period and optimal temperature during grain-filling period.

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