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Correction published on 22 February 2022, see Water 2022, 14(5), 679.
Article

Adaptive Agricultural Strategies for Facing Water Deficit in Sweet Maize Production: A Case Study of a Semi-Arid Mediterranean Region

1
CIHEAM-Bari, Via Ceglie 9, 70010 Valenzano, Italy
2
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via G. Amendola 165/a, 70126 Bari, Italy
3
CIRAD, CNRS, INRAE, TETIS, University of Montpellier, AgroParisTech, CEDEX 5, 34093 Montpellier, France
4
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council (CNR-ISPA), Via Amendola, 122/O, 70125 Bari, Italy
5
Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Systems in the Mediterranean, National Research Council (CNR-ISAFOM), Piazzale Enrico Fermi 1, 80055 Portici, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pilar Montesinos
Water 2021, 13(22), 3285; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223285
Received: 1 November 2021 / Revised: 15 November 2021 / Accepted: 17 November 2021 / Published: 20 November 2021 / Corrected: 22 February 2022
Maize is a crucial global commodity, which is used not only for food, but also as an alternative crop in biogas production and as a major energy-supply ingredient in animal diets. However, climate change is jeopardizing current maize production due to its direct impact on weather instability and water availability or its indirect effects on regional climate suitability loss. Hence, new areas for sweet maize cultivation should be considered in the future. Therefore, this study focuses on the possibility of producing maize in a challenging environment in Southern Italy considering rainfed cultivation and two irrigation regimes (full and deficit). The experiment was conducted during two subsequent growing seasons under semi-arid Mediterranean climate conditions. The overall results indicated a significant difference in biomass and yield between irrigated and non-irrigated treatments, and between full and deficit irrigation. Sweet maize cultivated under deficit irrigation gained less biomass than under full irrigation and its development and fruit maturation were delayed. Under deficit irrigation, the plants gave lower yields and a higher percentage of the panicle weight consisted of kernels. Irrigation water productivity was higher for deficit than for full irrigated treatment. These findings indicate the feasibility of sweet maize production in semi-arid areas of Southern Italy using adaptive agricultural strategies including deficit irrigation and controlled water stress. Given the importance of maize production, understanding of maize growth and productivity in a challenging environment may support future agricultural programming and thereby contribute e to mitigation of the direct and indirect effects of climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; deficit irrigation; rainfed cultivation; maize development; irrigation water productivity; Southern Italy climate change; deficit irrigation; rainfed cultivation; maize development; irrigation water productivity; Southern Italy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Piscitelli, L.; Colovic, M.; Aly, A.; Hamze, M.; Todorovic, M.; Cantore, V.; Albrizio, R. Adaptive Agricultural Strategies for Facing Water Deficit in Sweet Maize Production: A Case Study of a Semi-Arid Mediterranean Region. Water 2021, 13, 3285. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223285

AMA Style

Piscitelli L, Colovic M, Aly A, Hamze M, Todorovic M, Cantore V, Albrizio R. Adaptive Agricultural Strategies for Facing Water Deficit in Sweet Maize Production: A Case Study of a Semi-Arid Mediterranean Region. Water. 2021; 13(22):3285. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223285

Chicago/Turabian Style

Piscitelli, Lea, Milica Colovic, Adel Aly, Mohamad Hamze, Mladen Todorovic, Vito Cantore, and Rossella Albrizio. 2021. "Adaptive Agricultural Strategies for Facing Water Deficit in Sweet Maize Production: A Case Study of a Semi-Arid Mediterranean Region" Water 13, no. 22: 3285. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223285

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