Global Maize Initiative, Colombia


27 Mar 2013

2012 Annual Interpretive Summary

Global Maize Initiative, Colombia, 2012

This experiment was continued at the Villa Escocia experimental farm of FENALCE with two more crop cycles completed. The results obtained in 2012 were similar to the results obtained in the previous four crop cycles. The highest maize grain yields (average 9 t/ha) were obtained with Ecological Intensification (EI) and N all cycles treatment, while the lowest maize grain yields (average 2.5 t/ha) were obtained with EI and no N treatment. Statistical analysis did not detect any significant difference in grain yields between EI and traditional technologies (average difference of 1 t/ha), but the differences were highly significant among N strategies used (difference of 6.2 t/ha).

As with the previous crop cycles in the study, N is the main driver of yield at this site (Buga), and the effects of N management erase the advantages of EI strategy (higher planting density and balanced nutrition in this case). Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that for all the cropping seasons tested in Buga, the best yields were consistently obtained with high N (used across all crop seasons) together with EI strategies.

The Valle del Cauca Department, the region where this study was conducted, can no longer be considered a corn-growing area as most of the crop has been replaced with sugar cane. FENALCE has proposed to move this study to a new area, namely the Llanos Orientales, a large flat expanse in the East of Colombia with a proposed expansion of maize plantings to about 500,000 ha area. The study will be repeated in this region in the following years with a slightly different approach in that we will not use a single crop rotation, but crop rotations instead with emphasis on minimum tillage and lime amendment. IPNI-38