Effects of phosphorus and sulphur on dry matter yield of maize (Zea mays) in some soils at Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
Phosphorus and Sulphur fertilizers are important for increasing the productivity of maize in most parts of Nigeria. A screen-house experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of phosphorus (P) and sulphur (S) on maize dry-matter yield (MDY) in soils of five locations (Obantoko I, II, Alabata I, II, and III) in Abeokuta, Ogun State of Nigeria. Three levels of sulphur (0, 10 and 20 kg S ha–1) and phosphorus (0, 30 and 45 kg P ha–1) were evaluated in a 3 × 3 × 5 factorial experiment laid in Completely Randomised Design with three replications. Pre-planting analyses were performed to determine soil pH, particle size, organic matter, K, Na, P and S. Eight weeks after planting, maize parts above the soil level were harvested, oven-dried and dry-matter yield were computed and recorded. Application of S fertilizer appears not to be critical to maize production in the study areas since singly added S did not produce significant increase in biomass yield. In contrast, applied P significantly increased MDY in all the soils except Obantoko II, which already contained high amount of P sufficient for maize yield. Both synergism (Alabata II and III) and antagonistic (Alabata I) interactions were observed between P and S on MDY without any interactive effect in Obantoko I soil. Application rate of 30-45 kg P ha–1 with or without 10 or 20 kg S ha–1 resulted in significant effects on the MDY in the study areas. Field studies on effects of P and S on maize grain yield are recommended.
Keywords: available P and S, maize productivity, Nigeria soils, biomass, fertilizers