The productivity of corn grains is directly associated with factors related to soil fertility, which are relevant to the application of gypsum (calcium sulphate), in addition to variables inherent to the grain. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the variability of the physical properties of grains (circularity, roundness, bulk density, real density, volume and porosity) and production components (productivity and weight of 1,000 grains) of corn irrigated with increasing doses of gypsum, and evaluate the effects of direct and indirect associations of physical properties of grains and weight of 1,000 grains on grain productivity. The soil of the experiment was a Dystrophic Red Latosol. The experiment was conducted using a random blocks design. An analysis of variance by F test and a univariate regression analysis were performed regarding the relations among culture variables with different doses of gypsum (0.0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 t ha-1). An analysis of variance by t test was also performed together with a multivariate analysis using a path analysis with multicollinearity in order to analyze the direct and indirect effects of the physical properties of grains and weight of 1,000 grains on productivity. The bulk density of the grains had a direct effect on productivity of corn grains. In addition, the decrease in bulk density in function of the increase of gypsum doses is attributed to a greater increase in porosity in relation to weight of 1,000 grains.
Key words: Zea mays L., calcium sulphate, path analysis, bulk density.
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