Relative performance of various composts and NPK fertilizer on upgrowth and quality of fodder maize

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Soil Science, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, Pakistan

2 Nuclear Institute of Agriculture (NIA) Tando Jam,Pakistan

3 Latif Experimental Farm, Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam,Pakistan

4 Soil Fertility Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center Tando Jam,Pakistan

Abstract

Purpose Shortage, high prices and adverse effects of fertilizers drive to hunt alternative sources (such as compost) for crop husbandry and environment sustainability. A field trial was executed to observe the effect of various composts on growth and macronutrients' concentration in fodder maize (Zea mays L. cv. Akbar).
Method The treatments with four repeats included: Control (No amendment), Recommended NPK, Water hyacinth compost, Fruits + vegetables compost, and Banana leaves compost; each compost was supplemented at the rate of 15 tons ha-1. The experimental soil was fine textured (clayey), slightly alkaline in reaction, non-saline, poor in organic matter content, calcareous in nature, low in nitrogen, marginal in phosphorus and adequate in potassium.
Results The supplementation of composts and NPK fertilizer significantly increased the growth and yield parameters (plant height up to 26%, number of leaves plant-1 up to 20%, stem girth up to 22%, and fresh weight of maize fodder up to 25%), and the concentrations of selected macronutrients (N up to 46%, P up to 27%, and K up to 38%) in maize leaves with respect to control. There was no significant variation among various compost treatments and NPK fertilizer application for defined parameters, except for P concentration in maize leaves. A significant enhancement in macronutrients' concentrations in surface and subsurface soil, over control plots, has also been observed where inorganic and organic applications were made.
Conclusion We conclude that compost should be included in maize husbandry for enhanced productivity and quality and to minimize the dependence on inorganic fertilizers.

Highlights

  • Composts and NPK fertilization significantly enhanced the defined growth and yield components, and NPK concentration in maize leaves and in postharvest soil.

 

  • A similar effect of various composts to NPK fertilizer on maize productivity and soil fertility emboldens the utilization of composts to minimize the reliance on inorganic fertilizers.

Keywords


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