Journal article Open Access

Maize (Zea mays) Biomass and Yield as Influenced by Leguminous and Non-Leguminous Mulch Types in Southwestern Nigeria

Awopegba, Matthew; Awodun, Moses; Oladele, Segun

Two field experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Federal University of Technology Akure (70 17'N, 150 14'E) in the rainforest zone of southwestern Nigeria during the dry and wet seasons of 2013 and 2014 to evaluate the comparative effects of leguminous and non-leguminous mulch types on the growth and yield of maize (Zea mays L.). The leguminous plant mulch was Cajanus cajan while the nonlegume mulch type was Chromolaena odorata applied at the rate of 5 t ha-1 and NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer was applied at the rate of 200 kg ha-1. The treatment was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replicates. The growth and yield parameters in maize and changes in soil chemical properties were monitored and determined in both experiments. Significant increases in soil organic carbon (SOC), available P, total N, exchangeable bases, maize biomass and yield parameters over the control were obtained for the Cajanus cajan mulch treatment applied at 5 t ha-1 which were similar to the NPK fertilizer treatment. However, NPK treatment produced the highest grain yields in the dry season while Cajanus cajan and NPK treatments produced the highest biomass and grain yields in the wet season.

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