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Evaluation of Biological Soil Fertility Management Practices for Corn Production in Oxisols

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DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2012.311201    3,612 Downloads   6,303 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Field trials on the management of soil biological fertility with aim to increasing corn production were conducted in a savannah region of the DR-Congo. Three organic matters including fresh biomass of Entada abyssinica, Tithonia diversifolia, Stylosanthes gracilis and a mineral combination of nitrogen and phosphorus (NP) (115-63-0) along with a control (without fertilization) were evaluated for corn crop growth and production. The field trial was a completely randomized design with four replicates. Plant height, basal stem diameter, and yield components were assessed. Irrespective of fertilization treatments and variety, maize showed a similar growth up to 20 days after sowing (DAS), and then two distinct trends were observed. At 60 DAS, plant height and basal diameter were significantly bigger in plots treated with NP, T. diversifolia and E. abyssinica compared to S. gracilis treatment and control (NoF). This pattern was also confirmed with agronomic traits such as cob length, number of kernel per cob, and net grain yield. The local variety was the least productive under any treatment. In general, the response of corn crop to organic and inorganic fertilization showed that the mineral combination (NP) increased the most grain yield and other yield components compared to unfertilized trial, followed by T. divessifolia and E. abyssinica. NP and T. diversifolia treatments increased significantly and equally soil potassium content compared to control and other treatments. Application of T. diversifolia appears a more cost effective approach for small farmers to improving fertility of the oxisol prevailing in Central Africa compared to mineral fertilizers.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Muyayabantu, B. Kadiata and K. Nkongolo, "Evaluation of Biological Soil Fertility Management Practices for Corn Production in Oxisols," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 11, 2012, pp. 1654-1660. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.311201.

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