Drought? Heat wave? Climate change? That is why we are conducting the research.  

In June, a very small amount of precipitation and very high temperatures were recorded. The higher temperatures that reached up to 40° C in the last two weeks of June has shown a negative impact on the maize crop growth and development at our experimental fields within the joint experimental activities in scope of the SMARTWATER project. 

We are researching how such a higher temperatures and drought conditions could affect the maize growth and development on the field, and how that would affect future plant development and the final yield.  

As already seen in the last decade in Bosnia and Herzegovina, higher temperatures and droughts have had a significant impact on the maize yield reduction. One of the ways and the most effective methods and measures for the mitigating of the consequences of climate change effects and fighting a drought stress is certainly irrigation.  

On the joint experiment experimental fields within the SMARTWATER project, irrigation was carried out in the last two weeks of June. 

At the both experimental sites, UNSA (Butmir) and UNI-BL (Aleksandrovac), irrigation was performed based on a joint plan on the experimental plots, namely: full irrigation or 100%, reduced irrigation or 50% and no irrigation or rainfed conditions.  

It was noticed that an insufficient or no irrigation events affected maize in vegetative development stage. 

The maize began to twist the leaves, using a drought defence mechanism. In that way, maize tries to reduce the surface for water evaporation and to preserve the water reserves in the plant. However, complete drying of up to three lower leaves on plots without irrigation was observed. In order to achieve a satisfactory yield, maize needs water at all stages of development, both vegetative and generative.