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INFLUENCE OF TIME OF APPLICATION ON THE PERFORMANCE OF GLIRICIDIA PRUNINGS AS A SOURCE OF N FOR MAIZE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2006

WILKSON MAKUMBA
Affiliation:
World Agroforestry Center, Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, P.O. Box 30798, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
BERT JANSSEN
Affiliation:
World Agroforestry Center, Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, P.O. Box 30798, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
OENE OENEMA
Affiliation:
Sub-Department of Soil Quality, Wageningen University and Research Center, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands.
FESTUS K. AKINNIFESI
Affiliation:
World Agroforestry Center, Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, P.O. Box 30798, Lilongwe 3, Malawi

Abstract

Asynchrony between nitrogen (N) released by organic materials and N demand by the crop leads to low N use efficiency. Optimizing the time of application could increase the N recovery. A field experiment was designed to determine the effects of time of application of Gliricidia sepium prunings and of the addition of small doses of inorganic N fertilizer on N recovery and yield of maize. Six split applications of gliricidia prunings (in October, December and February) were compared. The prunings were incorporated into the soil while fresh. The application in October was done four weeks before planting the maize. Higher N uptake and maize yields were obtained when gliricidia prunings were applied in October than when applied in December and February. The corresponding substitution values were 0.66, 0.32 and 0.20. Split applications of prunings prolonged mineral N availability in the soil until March but did not increase N uptake and maize grain yield compared to a sole application in October. Combinations of gliricidia prunings and inorganic fertilizer increased N uptake and maize yield over prunings alone but the effect was only additive. We concluded that application of gliricidia prunings in October was more efficient than application in December and February.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

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INFLUENCE OF TIME OF APPLICATION ON THE PERFORMANCE OF GLIRICIDIA PRUNINGS AS A SOURCE OF N FOR MAIZE
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