Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizer Rates on Maize (Zea mays L.) Growth and Yields in Terraced Lands of Medium and High Altitude Regions of Rwanda

DOI: 10.18805/ag.D-176    | Article Id: D-176 | Page : 242-248
Citation :- Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizer Rates on Maize (Zea mays L.) Growth and Yields in Terraced Lands of Medium and High Altitude Regions of Rwanda.Agricultural Science Digest.2020.(40):242-248
A. Fashaho, A.O. Musandu, J.J. Lelei, S.M. Mwonga, G.M. Ndegwa fashaho@yahoo.fr
Address : Department of Crop Sciences, University of Rwanda, P.O. Box 210, Musanze, Rwanda. 
Submitted Date : 8-07-2019
Accepted Date : 12-05-2020

Abstract

Depletion of nitrogen and phosphorus in terraced hilly areas of Rwanda has lowered maize (Zea mays L.) production. Trials were carried out in 2017 and 2018 in four-year-old-terraced Lixisols and Acrisols of medium and high altitudes to determine effect of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer application rates on maize yields. A factorial arrangement of four levels of nitrogen (0, 60, 120 and 180 kg N ha-1) and phosphorus (0, 40, 80 and 120 kg P2O5 ha-1) in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications, was used. Results showed that combinations of 120 - 180 kg N ha-1 and 80 - 120 kg P2O5 ha-1 resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) higher increases in plant height (45 – 60 % and 56 – 70 % over the control), stem collar diameter (63 – 74 % and 43 % over the control) and grain yields (3 times over the control; i.e. 6.40 – 6.46 t ha-1 and 6.02 - 6.12 t ha-1) in medium and high altitude sites. The optimum fertilizer rates are 176.6 kg N ha-1 and 96.2 kg P2O5 ha-1 in terraced Lixisols of medium altitude area. Land use needs to adjust fertilizer application to these optimum rates for enhanced maize yields in this area and other regions with similar agro-ecological characteristics. Further studies on integrated effects of N and P fertilizers are recommended.

Keywords

Acrisols Grain yield Lixisols Nitrogen Phosphorus

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