Fertilizer and Genotype Effects on Maize Production on Two Soils in the Northern Region of Ghana

Soils in the Guinea Savanna agro-ecological zone of Ghana are depleted in major nutrients by continuous cropping and residue removal, resulting in low maize yields. While many studies have assessed the fertilizer requirements for maize, most did not account for the role of the soil type and maize genotype. A study was conducted on Plinthosol and Lixisol in the Tolon district of the Northern Region of Ghana to assess fertilizer and genotype effects on maize productivity. Two maize genotypes (i.e. Obatanpa -110 days to maturity) and (Dodzie - 75 days to maturity) were compared at three fertilizer application rates (i.e. 0-0-0, 60-15-35 and 90-25-50 kg ha-1 N, P K) in a randomized complete block design using four replications, with genotype allocated to the main plots and fertilizer levels to the subplots. Soils were characterized, revealing very low total N and available P concentrations in the top layers. Grain yield was significantly affected by maize genotype, irrespective of the soil type. The longer-duration (Obatanpa) tended to out yield the short duration genotype (Dodzie), and generally outperformed Dodzie in all yield parameters except for the harvest index on Plinthosol. Inorganic fertilizers significantly (P<0.001) increased yield and all yield parameters over the control on both soils, with yield increases of 84 and 90% at 60-15-35 and 90-25-50 kg ha-1 N, P K, respectively. Genotype by fertilizer interaction was highly significant (P<0.001) for grain yield on both soils. We conclude that farmers in the Guinea Savannah agro-ecological zone of Ghana need to supply nutrients to enhance grain yields of maize, irrespective of the prevailing soil type.

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Sustainable Agriculture Research, Volume 04, Number 4

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-28

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