Response of Maize (Zea mays L.) to Integrated Fertilizer Application in Wolaita, South Ethiopia

Fanuel Laekemariam, Gifole Gidago

Abstract


An on farm participatory experiment was conducted during rainy seasons of 2009 and 2010 at two locations to introduce the culture of integrated fertilizer management on maize. No fertilizer, blanket dose of inorganic fertilizer (100kg Urea/ha and 100kg DAP/ha), 5ton compost ha-1 alone, (5ton compost ha-1 + 25kg urea ha-1+ 100 DAP/ha), (5ton compost ha-1 + 50kg urea ha-1 + 100 DAP/ha), (5 ton compost ha-1 + 75kg urea ha-1+ 100 DAP/ha) were evaluated. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with four replications. Soil analysis before sowing indicated that the major nutrients (N, P) were found at low levels, where as the compost analysis indicated as it contained considerable amounts of nutrients. The result indicated that integrated fertilizer application revealed a significant influence (P<0.001) on growth, yield components and grain yield of maize. During 2009, the maximum grain yield (6.95 and 6.53 ton ha-1) at Dendo Ofa and Chifisa were obtained from compost with 75 and 50 kg ha-1 urea, respectively; which 54.39% higher over the control (3.17 ton ha-1) at Dendo Ofa; and 52.83% more than the control (3.08 ton ha-1) at Chifisa. During 2010, the maximum grain yield (6.05 ton ha-1) which was 50.74% more than sole compost (2.98 ton ha-1) was recorded at Dendo Ofa from compost with 75 kg ha-1 urea; whereas, in Chifisa inorganic fertilizer gave maximum grain yield (6.79 ton ha-1) which was 49.04% higher than the sole compost (3.46 ton ha-1). However, statistically similar performances between integrated and inorganic fertilizer applications have been recorded. In the mean while, sole compost and unfertilized plots showed least performance on growth, yield component and grain yield of maize. In general, combined use of compost with inorganic fertilizer at (5 ton/ha + 50kg urea/ha + 100kg DAP/ha) has been suggested than using inorganic fertilizer alone to obtain better growth and yield of maize; and improving physico-chemical properties of the soil on sustainable basis.

Keywords: Compost, Inorganic fertilizer, Integrated Nutrient Management and Maize


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