Int. J. Biosci.10(3), 163-172, March 2017
The greatest success in terms of modified agricultural practices arising from scientific research on biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) has certainly been the development of rhizobial inoculants. Soybean (Glycine max L.) has been the only widely adopted by farmers, mainly due to the relative specificity of the plant for rhizobia. Soybeans demand high amount of nitrogen, which are mainly obtained from biological nitrogen fixation. In view of this, field experiment was conducted to evaluate the response of soybean (SC Siesta) to Bradyrhizobium japonicum inoculation and nitrogen fertilizer applied at four rates (0, 50, 100 and 200 kg N (34.5%) ha-1)). The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with three replications during 2015 – 2016 growing season at Africa University Farm, Mutare, Zimbabwe. Plant height, nodulation and nodule dry weight, pods number and pods dry weight, stem dry weight and yield were measured. Increasing nitrogen fertilizer in non-inoculated plants decreased nodule number and nodule dry weight but enhanced plant height, the pods number and pod dry weight, stem dry weight and grain yield. In the inoculated seeds, the application of 50 kg N ha-1increased plant height, pods number, pods dry weight and soybean yield which were as much as the application of 200 kg N ha-1 for the non-inoculated plants. Thus, on the obtained results the study suggests applying nitrogen fertilizer at the rate of 200 kg N (34.5%)ha-1 + non-inoculation or 50 kg N (34.5%)ha-1 fertilizer + inoculation of soybean seeds under field conditions in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
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