Fertilizer Micro-dosing and Timing of Weeding for Enhancing Finger-Millet Production in Eastern Uganda

  •  J. Ekwangu    
  •  P. Anguria    
  •  C. Andiku    
  •  J. S. Tenywa    
  •  J. Bisikwa    
  •  N. Wanyera    
  •  M. A. Ugen    


Finger-millet response to micro-dosing with N and P fertilizer in the Semi-Arid areas of eastern Uganda is not fully known. Consequently, we conducted a field study at Kuju in eastern Uganda in 2016 long and short rains. The study determined the effect of fertilizer micro-dosing and weeding time on finger-millet performance. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design with a split plot treatment structure. Weeding time constituted the main plot (weeding at 20, 30, 45 DAS (days after sowing) and 20 + 45 DAS while fertilizer rates (16.6 kg N ha-1 + 10.6 kg P2O5 ha-1; 10.6 kg P2O5 ha-1; 16.6 kg N ha-1; 0 N + 0 N and 83 kg N ha-1 + 52 kg P2O5 ha-1) constituted the sub-plots. Results of this study revealed that finger-millet grain yield was highest (2182 kg ha-1) at fertilizer micro-dosing (16.6 kg N ha-1 + 10.6 kg P2O5 ha-1) and lowest (950 kg ha-1) in plots with no fertilizer. Fertilizer micro-dose application (16.6 kg N ha-1 + 10.6 kg P2O5 ha-1) caused early flowering of finger-millet (52.2 days), whereas delayed flowering was recorded, where 16.6 kg N ha-1 (55.12 days) was applied. The interaction between time of weeding and fertilizer rates significantly (P < 0.05) increased finger millet growth and grain yield. The interaction of N and P fertilizer micro-dose with weeding once at 20 DAS had the highest finger-millet grain yield. Therefore, it is recommended that fertilizer micro-dosing can be used to enhance finger-millet productivity.

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