Influence of urea application on growth, yield and mineral uptake in two corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars
A pot experiment was conducted in a wire netting green house in order to assess the beneficial effect of urea on corn cultivars (C-20 and C-79) differing in yield production. Corn plants were grown in loam soil with alkaline in reaction. Application of varying urea levels did not change the physico-chemical properties of soil. Four weeks-old corn plants were subjected to varying levels of urea (0, 50, 100, 175 and 225 kg/ha urea) for 8 (mid-season harvest) and 15 weeks (final harvest). After which, plants growth, yield and mineral nutrient status of the two corn cultivars were assessed for both mid-season and final harvest. It was observed that cv. C-20 showed higher (P<0.1) growth and yield. Addition of varying levels of urea enhanced the growth and yield of both the corn cultivars. However, 175 kg urea /ha was found to be more effective (P<0.1) in enhancing growth and yield of both the cultivars. The rate of urea application at a rate of 175 kg/ha had greater beneficial effect on cv. C-20 due to improved mineral nutrient (N, P, K, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) status of the cultivar.
Keywords: Corn cultivars, fertilizer treatment, urea, mineral nutrition, plant growth