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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/10208

Title: Effects of biochar and inorganic fertilizer application on soil fertility and agronomic performance of maize (Zea mays)
Authors: Badu, Eunice
Issue Date: 24-Jan-2017
Abstract: Biochar application on agricultural soils could provide a new technology for both soil fertility and crop productivity improvement. Meanwhile, limited research has investigated the suitability of biochar for soil improvement practices in Ghana. The aim of this research was to determine the synergistic effect of biochar and inorganic N fertilizer on soil fertility improvement and crop performance. The research was conducted at the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources Research farm in the minor and major cropping seasons of 2012 and 2013 respectively. Biochar was applied at 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 t ha-1 and fertilizer N applied at 0, 45 and 90 kg ha-1. The results of this study demonstrated that the application of fertilizer N may improve soil fertility and increase the biological yield of maize but their effects may be higher when applied with biochar (particularly at 10 t ha-1). Relative to the control, the application of biochar at 10 t ha-1 increased grain yield by 213% and 160% in the minor and major cropping seasons respectively. The greater yield of maize recorded on biochar-amended soils was attributed to the improved nutrient uptake and nitrogen use efficiency. The results showed that biochar application increased N uptake by about 200% compared with un-amended plots. In conclusion, the results of this study points to the fact that biochar could be an important resource for resource-poor farmers within the study area.
Description: A thesis submitted to The School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Agroforestry, 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/10208
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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