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Optimized Nitrogen Fertility of the Soil for Maize Production in a Semi-Coral Ecology in Eastern Pemba

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Food Security and Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P.O. Box 159 Zanzibar
  • 2Department of Crop Science and Horticulture, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3005 Chuo Kikuu, Morogoro, Tanzania

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 4, Issue (7), Pages 6-12, July,8 (2016)

Abstract

Improving crop yields through soil fertility management is one of the best known conventional practices of modern agriculture. An experiment was conducted in a semi-coral area in Eastern Pemba to test different rates of Nitrogen fertilizer application for their influence on maize crop performance. Four rates 23, 46, 70 and 90kgN/ha were top-dressed on different varieties of the maize crop during the long rainy cropping season in 2013. Results show a very significant response of the crop to the levels of N application. Dry matter yield increased significantly with each level of N nutrient increase seemingly due to alike increase in plant height. Grain yield increased with N to highest level (4.39 t/ha) at 70kgN/ha thereafter it declined. No statistically significant grain yield difference (P < 0.05) existed with fertilizer rate change from 46kgN/ha to 90kgha-1, a clear indication of an optimum application rate around 70kgN/ha. Differential response trends were observed with the varieties used in the experiment. Variety Staha showed best interaction with N application, giving highest yield record of 6.06 t/ha observed at 70kgN/ha while the worst record interaction (2.61 t/ha) was of variety Situka with 23kgN/ha. Two varieties, JKU and TMV-1 showed exclusive interaction respectively for dry matter and grain yields. The rest of the varieties showed individually significant (P < 0.05) response to N levels for dry matter yield but for JKU the response was insignificant. Likewise for grain yield, response to N levels was insignificant for variety TMV-1 contrary the rest of the varieties.

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