Comparative evaluation of organic wastes for improving maize growth and NPK content
Plant residues being organic in nature are rich source of macro and micronutrients and can be recycled to prevent their disposal in the environment, thus sustaining the balance between economic development and environmental protection. The potential of three agricultural waste composts, farmyard manure (FYM), banana waste (BW) and pressmud (PM) was tested in a pot experiment growing maize. The results of the experiment showed highly significant increase in plant height, dry matter yields and NPK contents with the application of fertilizers, particularly nitrogen (N). Application of un-decomposed farmyard manure (UD-FYM), un-decomposed banana waste (UD-BW) and un-decomposed pressmud (UD-PM) generally depressed plant growth and dry matter yields as compared to control treatment. Maize growth, dry matter yields and NPK contents improved significantly when untreated compost (UC) or treated compost (TC) were added, but it was still below the fertilizer treatments. On comparative basis, maize response was better with PM, followed by FYM and BW. This study clearly shows the beneficial role of composted materials. It is suggested that further studies may be conducted on various aspects of composting technology, and integrated use of various composts and mineral fertilizers to determine their role in crop nutrition and sustainable production.
Key words: Composting, organic waste, farmyard manure, banana waste, pressmud.