Effect of Organic Materials With and Without Mineral Fertilizer on Grain Yield and Nutrient Contents of Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum) in ohe Sudano-Sahelian Ecological Zone of Nigeria.
The inherently low fertility of most of the soils of savanna regions particularly in North-east Nigeria is a factor limiting the development of sustainable agricultural systems. Consequently, maintenance of soil fertility and management of soil for sustained and continuous crop production are essential components of the overall management of the soil. The primary objective of the study was to investigate the effect of these soil amendment materials on the yield and nutrient contents of Millet grain grown in the study area. Field experiment involving the application of three different types of organic materials; compost, farm yard manure (FYM) and municipal refuse (MR) applied at 7.5 t/ha alone and in combination with half (30:15:15) the recommended rate of NPK and full (60:30:30) recommended rate of NPK fertilizer was conducted. The trial therefore consist of nine treatments, replicated three times and laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD), carried out at the Teaching and Research Farms, University of Maiduguri, North-east Nigeria. Application of FYM + ½ (30:15:15) NPK, and compost + ½ NPK increased the yield of millet (3050 and 1609 kg ha-1) respectively over the control treatment (790 kg ha-1), and resulted in improved physical and chemical properties of the soil than the use of organic materials or inorganic fertilizer alone. Although differences in nutrient content of grain were not significantly affected by the treatments, application of FYM alone gave higher N (14.70 g kg-1) and P (12.00 g kg-1) contents over the remaining
treatments, which were found to correlate significantly with N and P uptake by the millet crop at tillering and booting stages. Calcium and Mg were higher (14.00 g kg-1 and 12.14 g kg-1) in treatments with MR when applied with ½ NPK than other treatments. It was evident that the use of organic materials in combination with inorganic fertilizer increased grain yield of millet nutrient content in addition to the reduction of organic wastes. Farmers in the region are advised to prepare good quality compost using farm weeds and leguminous residues before the onset of the rainy season to realize the yield potential of millet on the soils of the study area that are inherently low in fertility status.
Key words: Compost, Farm Yard Manure, Municipal refuse, Mineral fertilizer.