Impact of missing elements on nutrient use efficiency of sweet corn (Zea mays L. Saccharum) on five tropical soils
Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
The influence of single element (N, P, K, Ca and Mg) inorganic fertilizers on nutrient use efficiency of sweet corn (Zea mays L. Saccharum) was investigated on some tropical alfisols, ultisols and oxisols of Nigeria. Experimentation involved soils from 5 locations (Enugu, Rockefellar, Alabata, Barthroad and NIFOR) and 7 fertilizer treatments (Control, Complete/adequate nutrient supply, minus (-) N, -P, -K, -Ca and -Mg), replicated three times in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Expectedly, the soils supported crop performance to various extents associated with their fertility levels. Complete nutrient supply and-Ca treatment resulted in the highest biomass production (13.9 and 13.8 g pot-1, respectively) while the control had the least (4.9 g pot-1) followed by-N (5.3 g pot-1)and-P (10.7 g pot-1), indicative of their importance in the nutrition of the crop. The effects on crop nutrient uptake followed the same trend. Nitrogen was the least while K was the most efficiently used nutrient by the crop. Across fertiliser treatments, N use efficiency ranged between 2.4 g g-1 (NIFOR location soil) and 7.0 g g-1 (Bart road location soil). Across soil types, the range was between 2.4 g g-1(-N treatment) to 6.8 g g-1 (with complete nutrient application). Nutrient use efficiencies were highest when the elements considered are omitted in the fertiliser application schedule and/or when its initial content in the soil was low. A categorisation of efficiencies of nutrient use values (into low, medium and high levels) for the soil types was provided on the basis of the experimental data. © 2006 Asian Network for Scientific Information.