Comparative effects of some soil amendments on the agronomic performance of maize varieties in a low fertile soil
A field study was conducted in cropping seasons to determine the comparative effects of some soil amendments on postharvest soil chemical properties and performance of maize (Zea mays L.) in humid low fertile soil. The experiment was laid out in 3 x 4 split plot arrangement, fitted into a randomized complete block design with three replications. The main plots were maize varieties (‘SUWAN-I-SR’, ‘Oba 98’ and ‘Uselu’ local maize) and the subplots were soil amendments (control, poultry manure, cattle manure and NPK). Data were collected on growth parameters (plant heights (cm), number of leaves, leaf area index and stem girth) at 50% silking stage. At harvest, data were collected on grain yield components and several soil chemical properties. The results showed that the variety had significant (p<0.05) effect on growth and yield performance of maize. Fertilizer application significantly (p<0.05) improved maize vegetative characters. The fertilized plants were higher in all the parameters accessed than the unfertilized plants. ‘SUWAN-1-SR’ had the highest grain yield (2.49 t ha-1). The highest grain yield of 2.22 and 2.11 t ha-1 were produced from plants fertilized with NPK and poultry manure, respectively. Variety significantly (p<0.05) influenced organic carbon, available P, exchangeable acidity (H+ and Al3+). Poultry and cattle manures improved soil fertility through increase in soil pH, organic carbon and exchangeable cations. Since NPK and poultry manure had the highest grain yield, poultry manure could be used as viable option for maize production in low fertile soil environment, due to low cost and for environmental cleanliness.
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