Responses of sorghum to combined application of a nutrient solution and solid NPK fertilizers
In the savanna soil of Nigeria, micronutrient deficiency was not noticed in the past but with the intensification of agriculture over the years, crop exploitation of soil available nutrients, crop removal and adverse cultural practices of farmers have led to the incidence of micronutrient deficiency with negative effect on growth, yield and quality of crops. To enhance micronutrient availability, use and use efficiency to crops, a field experiment was set up on sorghum at Samaru in the Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria with foliar Algifol (Alg) nutrients solution and NPK. The objectives of the studies were: To test the effectiveness of the nutrient solution and NPK on growth and yield of sorghum in the Nigeria savanna and to determine optimum rates of application of the nutrient solution on sorghum under a tropical condition. The treatments were four levels each for the nutrient solution, NPK and a combination of both as ½Alg, 1Alg, 1½Alg and 2Alg at the rate of [5:10:15:20ml) of the concentrated solution to 10 litres of water per hectare and 64:32:30 kgha-1 N, P2O5 and K2O being therecommendation for sorghum in the Northern Guinea Savanna. Data were collected on plant height, plant girth, panicle yield, grain yield and stover. The treatments were laid in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. The results showed that plant height and girth were highly significant (P < 0.01) at 9 weeks after planting (WAP) and as well as stover. Head and grain yield were positively and highly significantly correlated (r = 0.69** and 0.62**) with dry matter yield (DMY) indicating a positive relationship amongst the plant parameters in response to treatments. Co-application of the nutrient solution with NPK had greater nutritional efficiency on sorghum in the savanna than their sole application since the nutrient solution is deficient in major plant nutrients.
Keywords: Nutrient solution, northern guinea, complementary application and tropical environment.