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D. Spaner, D.E. Mather and R.A.I. Brathwaite

Three local varietal types of corn (Zea mays L.)—an improved landrace `ICTA Farm Corn' derived from the Tuson population, the open-pollinated `Across 7728', and the hybrid `Pioneer 3098'—were grown at three cash-crop farms in Trinidad, and evaluated as green corn for agronomic, quality, and chemical traits. `Pioneer 3098' and `ICTA Farm Corn' had similar numbers of marketable ears and marketable yield per hectare, and both were superior to `Across 7728'. Sensory evaluations revealed that the three varieties did not differ in overall quality when boiled with Creole seasoning. When ears were not seasoned, the hybrid variety was preferred over the two open-pollinated varieties. Two-dimensional partitioning indicated that ear appearance and kernel color were the major contributors to total variation in overall quality. The importance of quality characters of green corn to local farming system priorities affects extension recommendations and breeding objectives in Trinidad.

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D. Spaner, D.E. Mather and R.A.I. Brathwaite

Immature field corn (Zea mays L.) grown for pre-lenten carnival festivities in Trinidad and Tobago can be a profitable cash crop. Hybrid and local unimproved open-pollinated corn were grown with two levels of weed control and fertilizer application late in the rainy season at two locations each on Trinidad and on Tobago. The Trinidad locations were situated on more productive agricultural land than those on Tobago. The hybrid `Pioneer 3098' yielded more edible corn than the local variety at all locations and at all treatment levels. Manual weed removal at the four- to five-leaf stage was sufficient to allow corn to out-compete the weed canopy, and an additional field operation would not be justifiable. On Tobago, the application of fertilizer just before tasselling, in addition to an earlier application of urea, increased the number and yield of edible ears. Few boiling-quality, marketable ears were produced on Tobago. On Trinidad, the additional fertilizer did not alter yield. For commercial carnival-season production of immature field corn on productive soils in Trinidad, the purchase of imported hybrid seed is economically justifiable, but high inputs into weed control and fertility management may not be needed.