Research Article

The effects of different mechanical detasseling methods on hybrid maize seed production

Abstract

We evaluated the efficiency of three mechanical detasseling methods on the production of hybrid maize seeds. The experiment was run in the crop season of 2016/2017 in Indianópolis, MG, Brazil. The design used was random blocks, where the treatments corresponded to three detasseling methods: Puller (PUL) - based on only one mechanical detasseling operation, Cutter 2x + Puller (C1P) - based on two mechanical detasseling operations by the Cutter method and one operation by the Puller method, and Cutter + Puller (C2P) - based on only one operation by the Cutter method and one operation by Puller. There was variability in the effects and efficiency of the mechanical detasseling methods in the production of hybrid maize seeds. The two methods C1P and C2P had small differences; both being superior to PUL. The mechanical detasseling method based on one operation of Cutter and one operation by Puller method is recommended, since it minimizes costs, lowering transfer and genetic contamination as well, and it optimizes the production of hybrid maize seeds per plant and unit area.

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