GROWTH AND YIELD RESPONSES OF OPEN POLLINATED MAIZE (Zea mays) TO TYPES AND RATES OF ORGANIC FERTILISERS IN RAINFOREST TRANSITORY AGROECOLOGY OF NIGERIA
Sustainable maize (Zea mays) production in resource challenged regions of the world is achievable among others through optimal utilisation of organic fertilisers at varying rates. Field trials were conducted in Abeokuta (Latitude 7010' N and Longitude 3015' E) in the late cropping season of 2010 and 2011. Three commercially available organic fertilisers [(Gateway 1 (GF1), Gateway 2 (GF2) and Sunshine (SF)], at three rates (0, 10 and 20 t ha-1) and three replicates were used on improved open-pollinated maize variety (Swam 1 yellow). The experiment was laid out in a randomised completely blocked design. GF1 had significantly (P < 0.05) the highest effect on growth parameters (Plant height, stem girth, leaf area and leaf area Index), with SF the least. A significant depression was observed in most growth parameters at increasing application rates of organic fertiliser, a converse pattern was observed on 1000 grain weight (GW), harvest index and cob length. A significantly higher (P < 0.05) vegetative growth, cob weight and grain yield was observed in 2010 than 2011, while 2011 had longer cobs and more 1000 GW than 2010. GF1 was recommended in Rainforest transitory zone of Nigeria at higher application rates though mediated by environmental factors.
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