Growth and Yield of Maize as Influenced by Sowing Date and Poultry Manure Application
Keywords:Biomass, days to 50% flowering, grain yield, leaf area index and plant height
AbstractTwo fields experiments were conducted in 2004 and 2005 at Evboneka in Edo State, Nigeria to determine optimum sowing date and poultry manure requirement of maize (Zea mays) for the forest ultisol location. We examined the biomass production and yield, besides growth parameters under three sowing dates (April 7, May 7 and June 7) and four levels of poultry manure (0, 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 tonnes per hectare (tha-1)) in factorial arrangement fitted into randomized complete block design with three replications. Plant heights, leaf area index (LAI), days to 50% flowering and biomass were significantly affected by sowing date and poultry manure application. The plant height values ranged from 3.9 to 10.80 centimetre (cm) at two weeks after sowing (WAS) to 48.3 cm at six WAS, respectively for the three sowing dates and four levels of poultry manure combinations. Days to 50% flowering was increased when sowing was delayed and with increased in applied poultry level and it vary from 50 to 73 days after sowing. The corresponding value of biomass was 3.32 to 8.80 t ha-1 at final harvest. These parameters resulted in higher crop growth rate for April 7 sown plants treated with poultry manure giving higher grain yield and 1000-grain weight. The maximum grain yield of 5.77 t ha-1 and 1000-grain weight were obtained from April 7 sown plants treated with 5.0 t ha-1 of poultry manure indicating that the best sowing date and poultry level for growth and yield of maize in the rainforest ultisol.
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