Effect of Mineral Nitrogen and Legume Intercrops on Maize (Zea Mays L.) Nitrogen Uptake, Nutrient Use Efficiency and Yields in Chitedze and Zomba, Malawi

Innocent Malunga, Joyce J. Lelei, Wilkson Makumba

Abstract


Nitrogen (N) is the most critical plant nutrient. Maize has a high nitrogen demand. Low maize (Zea mays L.), yields in smallholder farms of Malawi, the country’s staple, is attributable to declining N fertility aggravated by the ever increasing price of fertilizer. Little effort has been made to establish the best nitrogen rate in a maize- cowpea and maize-bean intercrop under variable soil conditions as a way of improving production, and was the objective of the current study. Field experiments were conducted at Chitedze Agricultural Research Station in Lilongwe and Makoka Agricultural Research Station in Zomba during the 2016/17 growing season. A split plot layout in a randomized complete block design, with three replicates was used. The main plots were; sole maize, sole bean, sole cowpea, bean/maize and cowpea/maize intercrop systems. The sub plots were N fertilizer rates (0, 52.5, 78.75 and 105 kg N ha-1), applied as urea. The data collected was subjected to analysis of variance using SAS software version 9.3 (SAS Institute Inc.) at P<0.05. Means were separated using Duncan Multiple Range (DMRT) test at 95% significance level. The results showed that application of N increased maize N uptake and grain yield. NUE however decreased with increasing N fertilizer rate.


Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/sar.v7n1p64

Copyright (c) 2017 Innocent Malunga, Joyce J. Lelei, Wilkson Makumba

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Sustainable Agriculture Research   ISSN 1927-050X (Print)   ISSN 1927-0518 (Online)  E-mail: sar@ccsenet.org

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'ccsenet.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.