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Effects of nitrogen, phosphorus and soil water content on growth and nutrient uptake of maize (Zea mays L.) grown on Fluvisols in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

Fisseha Hadgu, Heluf Gebrekidan, Kibebew Kibret, BirruYitaferu

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.3(5), 68-85, May 2013


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A greenhouse experiment was conducted in 2011 main season to determine the effects of different levels of N (0, 23, 46 and 69 kg N ha-1), P (0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 kg P ha-1) and soil water content (25, 50, 75, and 100% of field capacity) on growth and N and P uptakes of maize (Katumani variety) grown on Fluvisols in Mekelle, Ethiopia. A completely randomized design was used in a factorial arrangement with three replications. Interaction levels of 69 kg N ha-1, 10 kg P ha-1, and 100% of soil water content at field capacity (FC); 46 kg N ha-1, 40 kg P ha-1 and 100% FC; 69 kg N ha-1, 30 kg P ha-1 and100% FC and 23 kg N ha-1, 40 kg P ha-1 and100% FC significantly (P 0.01) increased plant height, total dry matter weight, N uptake and P uptake over the control treatment of the interactions, respectively. Amount of soil P remained in soil was highest at the interaction rate of 0 kg N ha-1, 40 kg P ha-1 and 75 % FC. Soil moisture content and N were observed to increase use of P by maize at the nearly peak vegetative stage. Application of 46 kg N and 30 kg P ha-1 can be recommended for maize grown on Fluvisols at an early stage provided that soil water content is maintained at field capacity. This has to be supported by further study in the field especially at the latter stages of the crop.


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