Mineral fertilizer application and grain yield of two maize varieties in the Sub-Sudanian Zone of Burkina Faso

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JUNE, 2015.
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A field study was conducted at Farako-Bâ, located in the south Sudan zone of Burkina Faso to update the fertilizer recommendations for maize production according to the soil type and variety of maize. The experiment was a split-plot arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications on both Luvisol and Ferralsol. The factors were mineral fertilizer options in the sub-plot and maize variety in the main plot. The mineral fertility options used were control, 90 kg N ha-1, 90kg N ha-1+ 15 kg P ha-1, 90 kg N ha-1+ 7.5 kg P ha-1, 90 kg N ha-1 + 22.5 kg P ha-1, 90 kg N ha-1+ 15 kg P ha-1 +10 kg K ha-1, 90 kg N ha-1 + 15 kg P ha-1 + 20 kg K ha-1, 90 kg N ha-1 + 15 kg P ha-1 + 30 kg K ha-1 and diagnostic (90 kg N ha-1 + 15 kg P ha-1+ 20 kg K ha-1+ 15 kg S ha-1+ 2.5 kg Zn ha-1+ 10 kg Mg ha-1+ 0.5 kg B ha-1) and the maize varieties were Komsaya and SR21. The weight of plants harvested for grain yield, stover yield and harvest index were computed. The maize grain and stover were ground and analysed for N, P and K uptake. Soil samples were collected at 45, 60 and 75 days after planting and analysed in the laboratory for N, P, K and pH contents. The results showed that mineral fertilizer significantly influenced soil NH4+ - N, available phosphorus, exchangeable K and pH and which differed across soil types. Moreover, grain, stover yields and nutrient uptake of maize grain were significantly affected by both mineral fertilizer and soil type. Among the two maize varieties, Komsaya gave the highest grain yield across fertilizer treatments. Cultivation of Komsaya was the most profitable in terms of returns on investment on both soil types than variety SR21 which was economically viable when grown on a Luvisol. t the world and a greater quantity is produced each year than any other grain (Riaz et al., 2014). It is currently the world‟s third most important cereal after wheat and rice (Belfield and Brown, 2008). Maize has become a major cereal crop and an important component of human and animal diets as well as raw material for industry (USAID/EAT, 2012). It is a widely grown cereal in the tropics (Damsteegt and Igwegbe, 2005) and plays a major role as a food security crop in both rural and urban communities. In industrialized countries, it is largely used as livestock feed and as a raw material for industrial products, while in developing countries, it is mostly used for human consumption (IITA, 2007). In Burkina Faso, maize is mainly produced under rainfed conditions predominantly in the Hauts-Bassins, Boucle du Mouhoun and Cascades regions with respective yield of 346,500, 199,000 and 123,188 tons over the bulk of production in the country which is about 1,200,000 tons (DGPER, 2010). In spite of the importance of the crop in the country, the average yield of 1.2 ton ha-1 is generally low compared to global average of 4 - 5 tons ha-1 and over 8 tons ha-1 in the United States of America (FAOSTAT, 2008). This low production according to Shao (1996), may be partly attributed to the use of little or no fertilizers and the predominant use of local varieties. Research has demonstrated the importance of inorganic fertilizer in crop production (Buah et al., 1998; Workayehu, 2000; Yamoah et al., 2002; Aflakpui et al., 2005b; Conley et
A thesis presented to the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of degree Master of Philosophy in Soil Science