Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Agriculture

First Advisor

Robert Dr. Rhykerd


Abstract.White corn (Zea mays L.) is a grain crop that produces kernels in a cob and is grown in different parts of the world. Depending on the maturity stage at harvest, the most common are field corn variety and sugar corn variety. Notably, Nitrogen (N) fertilizer is an important element in improving soil fertility and affecting crop productivity. The objective of this research study was to determine the effect of Nitrogen on kernel sugar concentration in white corn and investigate the effect upon white corn yield and grain mass. The study was conducted at the Illinois State University research farms in Lexington, IL 61753 (40.66844 N, 88.77591 W) and (40.6710 N, 88.77178 W) in 2021 and 2022 respectively. The experimental design was a 4 × 4 factorial arranged in randomized complete block design with 2 replications each. Nitrogen was applied as Granular Urea (46-0-0) at 0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha-1 using 0 broadcast method. The grain yield, expressed as bushels of corn per acre at 15.5% moisture level, was determined by hand-harvesting and shelling 1/1000th acre of corn per plot. This was then expressed as percent dry matter, and hence multiplying it with grain weight and 1000. Data analysis was conducted using the Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS V. 25) software, with both descriptive and inferential statistical analysis performed. Independent sample t-tests were utilized to compare means for any two assessed groups, whereas Analysis of Variance (One-way ANOVA) was performed for multiple groups. There were no statistically significant differences between the mean samples from the two replicates (blocks 1 & 2) across the two seasons for corn sugar concentration, corn yield estimates and grain yields. In 2021, the mean yield estimate was 12,552 Kg ha-1, while that of 2022 averaged 12687 Kg ha-1. Similarly, the grain yield achieved in 2022 was 844.1kg more than the average grain yield in 2021. The white corn yield estimate and grain yield increased linearly with an increase in nitrogen application level, with the highest yields achieved when nitrogen fertilizer was applied at 150kg N/ha. Similarly, the effect of nitrogen fertilizer application on seed sugar content was evident at all three milking stages. Further research should be conducted to find out whether higher nitrogen fertilization yields a similar linear increase in both white corn yield characteristics and sugar concentration. Moreover, there is need to replicate similar studies that investigate the moderating effect of diverse weather conditions and the role of soil moisture in mediating the effect of Nitrogen on seed sugar content.


Imported from Ndege_ilstu_0092N_12315.pdf


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