International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research
Vol.3 (11), pp. 402-411, November 2015
Available online at https://www.journalissues.org/IJAPR/
Article 15/ID/JPR080/10/ pages
Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.
Original Research Article
Growth and yield responses of rice, wheat and beans to Zn and Cu fertilizers in soils of Mbeya region, Tanzania
Lydia Mhoro*1, Ernest Semu1, Nyambilila Amuri1, Bathazar Msanya1, Juvenal Anthony Munishi1 and Zacharia Malley2
1Department of Soil Science, Sokoine University of Agriculture,P.O. Box 3008, Chuo Kikuu, Morogoro, Tanzania.
2Agricultural Research Institute Uyole (ARI-Uyole), Box 400, Mbeya, Tanzania
*Corresponding Author E-mail: lydiamhoro(at)yahoo.com
Low crop production and poor crop quality in most arable lands of Sub-Saharan Africa is associated with soils highly depleted of nutrients. A study was conducted in selected physiographic units of Mbeya Region Tanzania, to investigate the levels of soil macro- and micronutrients and crop (rice, wheat and beans) performance under variable levels of Zn and Cu applied to these soils. Soils were analyzed in the laboratory. Three levels of Zn (0, 7.5 and 15 mg Zn kg-1 soil) and Cu (0, 5 and 10 mg Cu kg-1 soil) were used as treatments together with N and P, in a completely randomized design with three replications under pot experiment. Soil analysis results showed that most of the soils in the study sites were highly deficient in both macro- and micronutrients. All soils were copper deficient (< 0.5 mg kg-1) while 53.8% of the soils were Zn deficient. Fe contents were above critical level (>10 mg/kg) in all soils. Significant (P =0.05) increases in crop dry matter and grain yields after soil fertilization under pot experimentation were observed in all tested crops. Field experiments are recommended to establish fertilizer recommendations in respect of these deficient nutrients in order to devise ways to reverse micronutrient deficiency in the food crops.
Key words: Beans, micronutrients, rice, nutrient deficiency, wheat, yield responses