Rowland Tsimba

Doctor of Philosophy, (Plant Science)
Study Completed: 2011
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Development of a decision support system to determine the best maize (Zea mays. L) hybrid: Planting date option under typical New Zealand management systems

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Mr Tsimba’s research involved developing a decision support tool to assist New Zealand maize growers make objective planting decisions to maximise yield and profit. Mr Tsimba found that in most regions, maximum and stable yields could be achieved by planting between 1 and 18 October. However, delaying planting by up to 4 weeks resulted in yield losses of less than 5%, indicating a much wider maize planting window than was previously assumed. Mr Tsimba also found that late maturing hybrids were more exposed to environmental stress and more variable in their production levels than their early maturing counterparts and thus, should not be planted under low yielding or late planting situations. Conversely, early maturing hybrids had limited capacity to increase yield potential under ideal growing conditions and good management, and use of late maturing hybrids in these circumstances showed clear benefits.

Professor Peter Kemp
Dr Gregory Edmeades
Associate Professor James Millner