Next Article in Journal
Olive Water Use, Crop Coefficient, Yield, and Water Productivity under Two Deficit Irrigation Strategies
Next Article in Special Issue
How Does Sowing Rate Affect Plant and Stem Density, Forage Yield, and Nutritive Value in Glyphosate-Tolerant Alfalfa?
Previous Article in Journal
The Effect of Barley Cover Crop Residue and Herbicide Management on the Foliar Arthropod Community in No-Till Soybeans
Previous Article in Special Issue
Variation of Agronomic Traits of Ravenna Grass and Its Potential as a Biomass Crop
Article Menu
Issue 6 (June) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Agronomy 2018, 8(6), 88;

Biomass Production and Composition of Temperate and Tropical Maize in Central Iowa

Horticulture Group of Department of Agronomy Science, University Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá DC 111321, Colombia
Syngenta, Panamá City, P.O. Box 832-0036 WTC, Panama
Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA
USDA Agricultural Research Service, 819 Wallace Road, Ames, IA 50010, USA
Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forage and Bioenergy Crops)
Full-Text   |   PDF [5137 KB, uploaded 15 June 2018]   |  


Bioethanol production in the midwestern U.S. has largely focused on maize (Zea mays L.) grain for starch-based ethanol production. There has been growing interest in lignocellulosic biomass as a feedstock for biofuels. Because maize adapted to the tropics does not initiate senescence as early as temperate-adapted maize, using a tropical germplasm could improve biomass yield. This study compares the suitability of temperate and tropical maize with differing relative maturities as feedstocks for bioethanol production. Field trials were established in central Iowa during the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons. Six hybrids of different relative maturities were grown at two levels of N fertilization and two row spacings to evaluate total biomass production and feedstock quality under midwestern U.S. conditions. Total biomass, height at the final leaf collar, stem diameter at one meter above ground, and lignocellulose concentration were measured at harvest. Tropical maize was taller and had greater non-grain and total biomass production (15% more than temperate maize), while temperate maize had greater grain yield and grain starch, as well as earlier maturation. Narrower row spacing had greater biomass and grain yield. Nitrogen fertilization rate affected grain and feedstock composition. Tropical maize had lower cellulose, lignin, and ash concentrations and higher nitrogen at harvest than that of temperate maize. Conversely, temperate maize had greater ash, cellulose, and lignin concentrations. Tropical maize planted at high densities has high potential as a feedstock for bioethanol production in the U.S. Midwest. View Full-Text
Keywords: maize; tropical germplasm; lignocellulosic biomass; biofuel maize; tropical germplasm; lignocellulosic biomass; biofuel

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Infante, P.A.; Moore, K.; Hurburgh, C.; Scott, P.; Archontoulis, S.; Lenssen, A.; Fei, S.-Z. Biomass Production and Composition of Temperate and Tropical Maize in Central Iowa. Agronomy 2018, 8, 88.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Agronomy EISSN 2073-4395 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top