“Maize is undoubtedly the crop that shows the largest response to technology and management.” A professor of Plant Physiology at the University of Illinois, Prof. Fred Below recently shared his extensive knowledge about maize production at Grain SA’s Congress held at Nampo Park. This insightful congressional discussion argued that maize grain yield is the final product of many factors that affect crop growth and development during the growing season.
These factors include weather, nitrogen, hybrids, previous crop, plant population, tillage and growth regulators. According to Prof. Below, a very important aspect of these Seven Wonders is that the higher a factor is on the list, the more control it exerts over the factors below it. This is evident in the fact that weather and nitrogen combine to contribute more than 50% of the total yield in a favourable year. He is also of the opinion that these factors are in constant interaction with each other.