Monoculture Maize (Zea mays L.) Cropped Under Conventional Tillage, No-tillage and N Fertilization: (II) Fumonisin Incidence on Kernels

  • Adriano Marocco |
  • Vincenzo Tabaglio
  • Amedeo Pietri
  • Carolina Gavazzi


Planting maize under no-tillage is an increasing farming practice for sustainable agriculture and sound environmental management. Although several studies on yield of no-till maize have been done, there is few information about the effect of tillage on fumonisin contamination. The present study was done to determine the effect of notillage and conventional tillage with two rates of nitrogen on fumonisin content in kernels of continuous maize. Average grain contamination with fumonisins B1 and B2 over the years 2004-06 was not significantly different, with mean values of 1682, 1984 and 2504 μg kg-1, respectively. Fumonisin B1 was the most abundant toxin found in the samples. No-tillage significantly affected the incidence of fumonisins during the first year of the trial, in which fumonisin content was significantly higher with no-till (2008 μg kg-1) compared with conventional tillage (1355 μg kg-1). However, no-tillage did not significantly affect the incidence of fumonisins in the second and third years of the study. Fumonisin content at the rate of 300 kg N ha-1 was not statistically different compared to that obtained without N fertilization. The interaction between the soil management system and the rate of applied nitrogen was only evident in the second year. Our results indicate that fumonisin contamination was affected by no-tillage only in the first year. Nitrogen fertilization had no significant effect on fumonisin content in any year. The weather conditions during susceptible stages of maize development have probably overridden the effect of nitrogen fertilization.


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Original Articles
fumonisins, no-tillage, conventional tillage, N fertilization, Zea mays L.
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How to Cite
Marocco, A., Tabaglio, V., Pietri, A., & Gavazzi, C. (2009). Monoculture Maize (Zea mays L.) Cropped Under Conventional Tillage, No-tillage and N Fertilization: (II) Fumonisin Incidence on Kernels. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 4(3), 69-76.