Grain yield response of maize (Zea mays L.) to variable rates of compost and nitrogen fertilizer integrations

Haimanot Beruk
Tewodros Ayalew
Tarekegn Yoseph

Abstract

Declining soil fertility is one of the major factor limiting crop productivity in Ethiopia. This experiment was therefore, conducted to evaluate grain yield response of maize to variable rates of compost and urea fertilizer integration. The experiment was arranged in factorial combination of three level of compost (0, 5 and 10 t ha-1) and three levels of mineral N fertilizer in the form of urea (0, 92 and 105 Kg ha-1). The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with three replications at the experimental field of Hawassa University, Southern Ethiopia. The result revealed significant difference among compost levels for all of the traits studied. There is significant difference among nitrogen levels for grain yield, number of kernel per row, number of kernel per ear and hundred grins weight. Significant difference among treatments (combination of compost level and nitrogen level) were observed for grain yield, number of rows per ear, number of kernel per row, number of kernel per ear and hundred kernel weights. The combination of compost and urea at the rate of 10 t ha-1 and 105 kg ha-1, respectively, produced the highest kernel yield (11.3 t ha-1) followed by (10 t ha-1 and 92 kg ha-1) and (5 t ha-1 and 105 kg ha-1) with compost and urea combination 9.4 and 8.3 t ha-1 grain yield respectively. Generally, the combination of 10 t ha-1 compost with urea at the rate of 105 kg ha-1 resulted with 63% yield advantage compared with the control plot. It is therefore; wise to recommend 10 t ha-1 compost combinations with 105 kg of urea for improved maize yield for the farmers in the research area and areas with similar agro-ecology and resources availability.