We conducted a synthesis analysis on data from 86 published field experiments conducted from 1903 to 2014 to explore the specific consequences of post-silking N accumulation (PostN) in New Era vs. Old Era hybrids on grain yield (GY) and recovery from plant N stress at flowering (R1 stage). The Old Era encompassed studies using genotypes released before, and including, 1990 and the New Era included all studies using genotypes released from 1991 to 2014.

Global food security must address the dual challenges of closing yield gaps (i.e., actual vs. potential yield) while improving environmental sustainability. Nutrient balance is essential for achieving global food security. Historical (in distinct “Eras” from late 1800s to 2012) and geographical (in United States vs. remainder of World) changes in maize (Zea mays L.) grain yields and plant nutrient content (N, P, and K) were characterized from studies (>150) with known plant densities.