Use of Balanced Nutrients for Better Production of Teff (Eragrostis tef (zucc.) at Bensa in Southern Ethiopia

Abay Ayalew


A number of blended fertilizers containing multi-nutrients are formulated to be used in soils of different areas of Ethiopia; however, they are not evaluated for their effectiveness and rate of application in different crops and soils. Therefore, this study was conducted to provide site and crop specific balanced nutrient recommendations for teff production at Bensa in southern Ethiopia. The experiment was conducted in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with seven treatments replicated across five farmers. The treatments included (1) 64 kg N + 30 Kg P/ha (recommended amount of N and P) (2) 28 kg N + 18 kg P + 25 kg K+ 13 kg S + 2.4 kg Zn+ 1 kg B/ha (3) 46 kg N + 20 kg P + 16 kg S + 2.6 kg Zn/ha (4) 64 kg N + 18 kg P + 25 kg K+ 13 kg S + 2.4 kg Zn+ 1 kg B/ha (5) 28 kg N + 30 kg P + 25 kg K+ 13 kg S + 2.4 kg Zn+ 1 kg B/ha  (6) 64 kg N + 30 kg P + 25 kg K+ 13 kg S + 2.4 kg Zn+ 1 kg B/ha (7) 64 kg N + 20 kg P + 16 kg S + 2.6 kg Zn/ha.  Teff variety cross-37 was drilled in rows on a 4 × 4 m plot. The sources of the nutrients were TSP, Urea and two different types of blended fertilizers. The first blended fertilizer contains 14 kg N + 9 kg P + 12.5 kg K+ 6.5 kg S + 1.2 kg Zn+ 0.5 kg B/100 kg of the fertilizers, while the second type of blended fertilizer contains 23 kg N + 10 kg P + 8kg S + 1.3 kg Zn/100 kg of the fertilizer. Data including tiller number, straw yield, and biomass and grain yields were collected and analyzed using Proc GLM procedures in the SAS 9.3 program and Least Significant Difference (LSD) test was used for mean separation. Economic analysis was performed using partial budget, dominance and marginal analyses to investigate the economic feasibility of the blended fertilizers for teff production. The result of data analysis indicated that application of unbalanced nutrients (only N and P) even at recommended rate gave significantly lower yield than the balanced nutrients. Besides, application of balanced nutrients with improper proportion also gave lower teff yield. Therefore, for better teff production at Bensa, it is important to apply balanced nutrients with their proper proportion. Thus, application of 64kgN+30kgP+25kgK+13kgS+2.4kgZn+1kgB/ha is recommended for production of teff at Bensa.

Keywords: balanced nutrients, teff, blended fertilizers, nutrient depletion, multi-nutrients

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