A field experiment was conducted during spring 2011 at Agronomic Research Area, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan to evaluate the comparative efficacy of Zn uptake and grain yield in three maize hybrids namely Pioneer-32F 10, Monsanto-6525 and Hycorn-8288 through the application of Zn in the form of ZnSO4. The ZnSO4 treatments comprised; soil application at the time of sowing @ 12 kg·ha-1 (Zn1), foliar application at vegetative stage (9 leaf stage) @ 1% ZnSO4 solution (Zn2) and foliar application at reproductive stage (anthesis) @ 1% ZnSO4 solution (Zn3) and one treatment was kept as a control, where zinc was not applied (Zn0). The experimental results showed substantial difference in all physiological and yield parameters except plant height and stem diameter. Statistically maximum grain yield (8.76 t·ha-1) was obtained with foliar spray of ZnSO4 at 9 leaf stage (Zn2) in case of Monsanto-6525. As regard to quality parameters, Pioneer-32F 10 and Hycorn-8288 accumulated more zinc contents in grains but Monsanto-6525 attained more zinc concentration in straw. Foliar spray of ZnSO4 at 9 leaf stage produced 19.42% more zinc contents in grains as compared to other ZnSO4 treatments. Foliar spray of ZnSO4 at 9 leaf stage in Monsanto-6525 hybrid produced higher grain yield.
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