EFFECTS OF NPK FERTILIZER AND FARMYARD MANURE RATES ON MILLET PERFORMANCE IN SUDAN AND SAHEL SAVANNA SOILS OF NORTHEAST NIGERIA
Effect t of NPK and FYM manure on millet growth
Field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2009 rainy seasons at the Research and Demonstration Farms of Lake Chad Research Institute at Maiduguri and Gashua stations to study the effect of NPK fertilizer and farmyard manure rates on millet performance in Sudan and Sahel savannas of northeast Nigeria. The treatments consisted of factorial combinations of three levels of NPK fertilizer (NPK 0:0:0, 30:15:15 and 60:30:30 kg ha-1) and four levels of farmyard manure (0, 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 tonnes ha-1). The experiments were laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) and replicated three times. The parameters determined were plant height at 3, 6 and 9 weeks after sowing (WAS), straw, grain and above ground total biomass yields. The results of soil physico-chemical properties indicated low fertility status as typified by the low contents of N, P, Ca, Mg and low CEC, but moderate K. The application of NPK fertilizer and farmyard (FYM) manure either alone or in combination significantly influenced most of the parameters. The individual effect of NPK at half and full recommended rates were at par on most of the parameters, but significantly superior to the control. The individual effect of FYM was variable and more pronounced with the two higher rates of 5.0t and 7.5t FYM compared to the two lower rates of 0.0t and 2.5t FYM rates. Optimum millet growth and yield were superior with NPK 30:15:15, combined with 5.0t FYM more than other combination rates at early growth stage. At mid and late stage of growth, interaction of NPK 30:15:15 + 7.5t FYM produced significantly the tallest plants. Grain, straw and total biomass yield in Maiduguri were 129%, 71%, and 76% increase over the control, respectively. Similar results were obtained in Gashua, with higher yields at NPK 30:15:15 + 5.0t FYM. Based on the results it can be concluded that application of NPK 30:15:15 combined with 5.0t and 7.5t ha-1 FYM could be viable management practice for sustained millet production in Sudan and Sahel savannas of northeast Nigeria.
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