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1. Tillage Method and Residual N, P, K, Zn, B, Mg, Ca, and S Nutrients Effect on Growth and Yield of Dry Bean Grown after the Harvest of Maize
Yıl: 2020 Cilt: 8 Sayı: 1 Sayfa Aralığı: 18 - 26
Veri Tabanı: Fen

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) production is constrained majorly by drought and low soil fertility in Kenya. These limitations have never been adequately approached due to financial challenges and lack of better technology. A study was carried out in Kirinyaga and Embu Counties to evaluate the effects of tillage method and residual fertilizers on yield performance of dry bean. Dry bean was grown in the short rains season on plots preceded by fertilized maize (Zea mays L.) grown in the long rains season. The trials were laid out in a randomized complete block design with a split-plot arrangement. The tillage methods, NT+CR and CT-CR, where NT: No-tillage, CT: Conventional tillage, and CR: Crop residue, were assigned the main plot and residual fertilizers (NK, NP, PK, NPK, and NPK+CaMgZnBS) the subplots. The results showed that there was 35% and 46% more water retention under NT+CR than under CT-CR system in Embu and Kirinyaga sites, respectively. NT+CR produced higher biomass, more number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, and 1000-seed weight. Plots with residual NPK+ZnBMgCaS yielded higher biomass at 60 DAE, number of seeds per pod, 1000-seed weight and grain yield than plots with other treatments. The residual NPK+ZnBMgCaS and NPK treatments out yielded PK treatment by 600 kg ha-1 and 370 kg ha-1 (Embu) and by 710 kg ha-1 and 330 kg ha-1 (Kirinyaga), respectively. Based on these results, cultivation of dry bean on residual fertilizer nutrients solely or in combination with no-till and crop residue retention after maize harvest has the potential to improve the yields and food security among farmers in the region.

2. Maize (Zea mays L.) Growth and Yield Response to Tillage Methods and Fertilizer Combinations in the Midland Agro-ecological Zones of Kenya
Yıl: 2020 Cilt: 8 Sayı: 3 Sayfa Aralığı: 616 - 624
Veri Tabanı: Fen

The trials were set up in Busia, Embu and Kirinyaga Counties to assess the effect of tillage methods and application of different fertilizer combinations on maize productivity in the lower and upper midland agro-ecological zones of Kenya. Tillage methods were no-tillage (NT) with crop residue retention as mulch (+CR) (NT+CR) and conventional tillage (CT) without crop residue retention on farm surface (-CR) (CT-CR) while fertilizer combinations were NK, NP, PK, NPK, and NPK+CaMgZnBS. The N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, B and S nutrients were applied at the rates of 120, 40, 40, 10, 10, 5 and 26.3 kg ha-1 , respectively. The trials were laid in a randomized complete block design with a split-plot arrangement and replicated three times. The results showed that maize leaf area index, plant height, aboveground biomass, crop growth rate, and grain yield were significantly higher under CT-CR than under NT+CR in most of the sites. The CT-CR system out-yielded NT+CR system by 0.3 t ha-1 and 0.6 t ha-1 maize grain in Alupe and Kirinyaga, respectively. However, NT+CR system out-yielded CT-CR system by 0.4 t ha -1 maize grain at Embu. Across all the sites, application of PK and NPK+ZnBMgCaS fertilizer combinations resulted, respectively, in lowest and highest maize shoot biomass, leaf area indices, crop growth rates, plant heights, and grain yields. Based on this result alone, the potential of conservation agriculture in improving yields compared to conventional tillage could not be conclusive despite consistently recording higher soil moisture content across all sites and better yields in Embu. Again, application of a wide range of nutrients may be beneficial to maize production in the study areas as evidenced in the study. Therefore, we recommend multi-season and multi-location trials to comprehensively assess the impact of tillage methods and fertilizer management, particularly in relation to micronutrients.

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