International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research
Vol.2 (3), pp. 090-097, March 2014
Article ID JPR017/14/ 08 pages
Copyright © 2014 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 International License
Original Research Paper
Effect of nitrogen and phosphorus on performance of maize planted at the varying soil depths
Accepted 25 February, 2014
Eliakira Kisetu*, Sileja Lily, Witness James Temba and Anitha Projestus Rwebangila
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculture,P.O.Box 3008, Chuo- Kikuu, Morogoro.Tanzania.
*Corresponding Author’s E-mail: keliakira(at)yahoo.com
Tel.: +255 784-734482
This study determined the appropriate planting depth of maize along with application of inorganic fertilizers. This was prompted by the low levels of inorganic fertilizers used and the inconsistent seed sowing depths in Tanzania. This study was a field work which used 60 kg N ha-1 and 60 kg P ha-1 and maize (Zea mays L.) seeds planted at soil depths of 5, 10 and 15 cm. Results indicated that the highest total dry biomass (per plot) was recorded for the absolute control (2.4 kg) plants and in plants which received N (2.6 kg), P (3.5 kg) and NP (2.8 kg) at the soil depths of 10 cm, 5 cm and 10 cm, and 10 cm, respectively. Application of N, P and NP gave the highest yield at 10 cm (4.67 t ha-1), 5 cm (5.39 t ha-1) and 10 cm (5.4 t ha-1), respectively. Furthermore, the highest harvest indices obtained from plants treated with N, P and NP were 57%, 70% and 61% at a depth of 10 cm. The yields obtained from this study was highly affected by uncontrolled field factors including termites and Quelea quelea aethiopica birds, whose absence could have adjusted the values to attainable yields exceeding these by 0.7. It is suggested that soil depths ranging from 5 to 10 cm indicate the best treatment for sowing the maize, although some variations might be caused by unexplained factors.
Key words: Zea mays L. Var. Situka, biomass, harvest index, yield