Influence of different soil types and mineral fertilizer on maize (Zea mays L.) growth for effective production, soil fertility improvement and food security
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The study was conducted to determine the influence of different soil types and mineral fertilizer on maize (Zea mays L.) growth for effective production, soil fertility improvement and food security, at the Teaching and Research Green house, Obubra, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Cross River University of Technology, Nigeria. Ikom Local White, maize variety were treated to one level of NPK (15:15:15) mineral fertilizer (0.06 kg ha-1) and four different soil types (sandy, clay, sandy loam and loamy soils). Soil samples were analyzed before and after maize cultivation to determine the influence of the mineral fertilizer on soil/plant performance. Ring method of fertilizer application was employed to apply fertilizer at the same rate to all the soil types. The experiment was laid out in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The treatments were replicated four times to give a total of twenty polybags. The result obtained indicates that soil type-fertilizer treatment (STFT) increased (p = 0.05) the growth of maize and further increased (N, P, K, Ca, Na, Mg, Organic Matter, Cation Exchange Capacity including pH) over the control, with loamy soil - 0.06 kg ha-1 NPK (15:15:15) mineral fertilizer treatment significantly (p< 0.05) increased the growth parameters (plant height and number of leaves of maize) over all other treatments, and closely followed by sandy loam-0.06 kg ha-1 NPK (15:15:15) mineral fertilizer treatment (T3(SL)). Loamy soil-mineral fertilizer treatment seems responsive and effective for productive maize cultivation, for soil fertility improvement and food security.
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