Interaction of Phosphorus and Potassium on Maize (Zea mays L.) in Saline-Sodic Soil

Z. Hussain, R. A. Khattak, I. Fareed, M. Irshad, Q. Mahmood


Salinity and nutrient deficiencies are the main constraints for high crop productivity. Interaction of diammonium phosphate and potassium sulphate in saline-sodic soil for maize (Zea mays L.) crop was investigated. The results demonstrated that maize responded well to K and P fertilization in saline-sodic soils. The effects of salinity and sodicity were ameliorated by the application of K and P fertilizers resulting in higher yield. K had greater influence on grain yield than P level. K application increased yield related parameters. The addition of P significant affected leaf [P] and [Na] content, Na:K and Ca:Na ratios. Potassium levels had significant effects on [Na], [K], [Mg] and Na:K ratio. Phosphorus and K interactions did not affect leaf chemical composition except Mg content. The P application resulted in an increase of [P] in maize leaf tissue as compared to control. A decrease in [Na] and Na:K ratio was observed with the addition of K. There was positive relationship between grain yield (R2 = 0.67), dry matter yield (R2 = 0.76) and leaf [P], respectively in soils treated with P. The tissue [Ca], ratios of Ca:K and Ca:P were non-significantly affected by the K and P treatments. Extractable [P] increased after P treatments in the soil. The application of K significantly decreased Na:K ratios in the soil. The decreasing trends of [Na] and Na:K ratios depicted a negative (R2 = 0.91) correlation between Na:K and soil [K]. Such interaction of K and P could mitigate the adverse effects of salinity and sodicity.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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