Impact of tillage and phosphorus application on phosphorus uptake and use efficiency of maize (Zea mays L.)

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
There is limited information on the impact of tillage and phosphorus application on phosphorus uptake and use efficiency of maize at different stages of growth and, the implication for crop yield on different soil types in Ghana. To bridge this gap in knowledge, a study was undertaken in the minor rainy season of 2013 on an Orthi-Ferric Acrisol at Anwomaso and Rhodic Lixisol at Ejura in the Semi-deciduous forest and Forest-savannah transition Agro-ecological zones of Ghana, respectively. The experiment was laid out in a split-plot, arranged in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications at both locations. The treatments used were two tillage systems: conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT) systems and four phosphorus application rates: 0, 30, 60 and 90 kg P2O5 ha-1 in the form of triple superphosphate (TSP) designated as P0, P30, P60 and P90, with basal applications of nitrogen and potassium at the rates of 90 kg N ha-1 and 60 kg K2O ha-1. Phosphorus uptake and use efficiency indices such as recovery efficiency (PRE), partial factor productivity (PFP), agronomic efficiency (PAE) and utilization efficiency (PUtE) were evaluated at different stages of crop growth viz: juvenile stage (V6), peak vegetative growth (V12) and at physiological maturity (R6). The results showed tillage to generally influence P uptake and use efficiency of maize in both agro-ecological zones at V12. The different rates of P applied progressively enhanced the total P concentrations of maize plants in the order P0 < P30 < P60 < P90. Phosphorus was efficiently utilized by the maize crops at P60 than at P90 on both soils. Significant tillage x phosphorus interactions (p < 0.05) were recorded among treatment combinations at V6, V12 and R6 with regards to PRE, PFP, PAE and PUtE at both Anwomaso and Ejura. The P60 led to significantly higher PRE and PAE, however, the highest PFP was recorded under P30. The study recorded a high PRE range of 40.90 – 55.20 % at R6 on the Rhodic Lixisol at Ejura and even a higher value of 64.50 % under NTP60. Though CTP60 recorded the highest grain yield on both locations, NTP60 recorded grain yield comparable to that of CTP60 at Ejura.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree of Master of Science in Soil Science