Evaluating Added Benefits from Combined Cattle Manure and Fertilizer Application in a Maize Cropping System

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A field experiment was conducted at Kpongu in the Upper West region of Ghana to determine the added benefits in grain yield of maize derived from the concurrent use of manure and mineral fertilizer, and their cost effectiveness. Factorial combinations of cattle manure and mineral fertilizer each at 0, 50 and 100% of their recommended rates were evaluated in both the field and the laboratory studies. The treatments were applied in a randomized complete block design with three replications on the field. The same treatments were applied in the incubation study in a completely randomized design. The use of 100% NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) + 5 t manure gave the highest grain yield of 4,678 kgha-1. Synergistic interactions resulting in added benefits in grain yield were observed in all the combined nutrient inputs except 50% NPK + 2.5 t manure which accrued an added disadvantage of 44 kgha-1. Economic analysis proved that 100% NPK + 2.5 t manure and 50% NPK + 5 t manure were the most economically viable combined treatments in terms of grain yield. Based on the results from this study, resource poor farmers in the Upper West region of Ghana may reduce mineral fertilizer recommended rates by 50% and supplement it with 5 t quality (N >2.5%) cattle manure without compromising yield and profit.
This article is Published by Academia, 2017 and is also available at doi:10.17265/2162-5263/2017.01.004
Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering B 6 (2017) 34-40