Effects of Applying Blended Mineral NPS and Nitrogen Fertilizers on Growth, Yield Components, and Yield of Maize (Zea mays L.) in Fedis District, Eastern Ethiopia

Baate; Economic analysis; Fertilizer rate; Melkasa-2; Yield related traits


January 1, 2022


Background: Maize is the major and most important cereal crop next to sorghum in eastern Ethiopia. However, the yield of the crop is low mainly due to low inherent soil fertility and poor soil fertility management practices.
Objective: Field experiments were conducted during the main rainy cropping season in 2018 and 2019 to assess the effect of blended mineral NPS and N fertilizer on growth, yield components, and yield of maize varieties.
Materials and Methods: The treatments consisted of two open-pollinated maize varieties (Baate and Melkasa-2), three blended NPS fertilizer rates (50, 100 and 150 kg NPS ha–1), and three nitrogen fertilizer rates (43.5, 87 and 130.5 kg N ha–1). The experiments were laid out as a randomized complete block design in a factorial arrangement and replicated three times per treatment.
Results: The results showed that leaf area index, plant and ear height, ear diameter, number of kernels per ear, and grain yield were significantly affected by the interaction effects of variety, NPS fertilizer, and year. The maximum ear diameter and the number of kernels per ear were produced from the Baate variety in response to the application of 100 and 150 kg NPS ha–1in the 2019 cropping season. Besides, the highest aboveground biomass yield (18.5 t ha–1) was obtained from the variety Baate treated with 150 kg NPS and 130.5 kg N ha–1. The maximum grain yield (8.0 t ha–1) was obtained from the Baate variety in response to the application of 150 kg ha–1 NPS in the 2019 cropping season. The application of 87 kg N ha–1 produced a high grain yield, which was also found to be economically feasible for both varieties. The partial budget analysis also affirmed that the highest net benefit (44850.0 ETB) with the higher marginal rate of return (764%) was obtained from Baate variety supplied with 150 kg NPS ha–1, which was economically more feasible than Melkasa-2 variety with the application of 150 kg NPS ha–1(6.7 t ha–1 ).
Conclusion: It is concluded that cultivating the Baate maize variety with the application of 150 kg NPS fertilizer ha–1 and 87 kg N ha–1 was found to be economically optimum for smallholder farmers in the study area to enhance productivity of the crop.