Effect of Soil Types and Phosphorus Fertilizer Interaction on the Growth and Yield of Maize (Zea mays.L)
A pot experiment was conducted to examine the effect of soil types and phosphorus fertilizer application on maize (variety DMR-L-SR) growth and yield in the rain forest zone of Nigeria. This was done at the Teaching and Research Farm, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso. The experimental treatments consists of four soil types (Itagunmodi, Egbeda, Majeroku and Iwo series) and six varying phosphorus levels (0, 15, 30, 60, 75 and 90kg P2O5/ha i.e. 0, 0.6, 1.3, 2.5, 3.1 and 3.8 g/15kg soil respectively). The experiment was laid out in a split plot randomized complete block design with four replications. Data were collected on growth and yield parameters. Soil type effect was significant on plant height, number of leaves, cob weight, number of grains per cob and number of grain rows per cob. Plants planted on Majeroku soil produced the most luxuriant growth which significantly (p=0.05) differed from other soil types. For grain yield, the highest grain yield of 172 g/15kg soil was produced from Majeroku soil while the least (95.46 g/15kg soil) was produced in Egbeda soil. Soil types and phosphorus levels interaction was significant for most of the parameters considered. However, crops on Majeroku soil had the highest grain yield of 172 g/15kg soil at 30kg P2O5/ha, Itagunmodi and Egebeda soils also had the highest grain yield of 139.75g and 116.25g respectively at 15kg P2O5/ha but the highest yield of crops on Iwo soil was at 75 kg P2O5/ha (158.50 g/15kg soil). This yield at varying phosphorus levels is an indication that soil types do have an effect on the yield of crops. Since all the soils are used in planting maize one soil type cannot be said to be better than the other, however to optimize grain yield for Itagunmodi and Egbeda soils application of 15 kg P2O5/ha is sufficient while for Majeroku and Iwo soils, 30 and 75 kg P2O5/ha respectively as against the blanket recommendation of 60 kg P2O5/ha.