Comparative effects of commercial lime (CaCO3) and ground eggshell on the uptake of calcium and dry matter yield of maize in an ultisol of southeastern Nigeria
Greenhouse study was carried out to investigate the comparative effect of commercial lime (CaCO3) and ground eggshell on the uptake of calcium and dry matter yield of maize in an ultisol of Southeastern Nigeria using maize (variety Oba supper 92) as the test crop. The soil was acidic and deficient in N, O.C., K, Ca and Mg. Commercial lime (0.5tons/ha) and ground eggshell (0, 2, 4, and 6ton/ha) were used for the study; they were replicated three times. The experiment lasted for 8 weeks in the greenhouse and soil samples were taken from each pot at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks and air-dried for the determination of pH and total calcium. At 8 weeks after planting, plants were harvested and dry matter yield and plant calcium content was determined. From the result, ground eggshell and CaCO3 significantly (P<0.05) increased the soil pH over the control from 4.6 to 6.6 and 7.6 respectively. Soil pH increased as the rate of treatment increased. There was a significant increase in soil total calcium over the control at 2 weeks after planting, after which only 2, 4 and 6tons/ha ground eggshell increased same over the control. Plant dry matter yield was also significantly increased over the control at 2 and 6tons/ha ground eggshell application from 9.5 to 10.84 and 12.36 respectively. It can therefore be concluded that ground eggshell is a promising soil amendment for increasing soil pH and dry matter yield of maize in Umudike Ultisol; 6 tons/ha rate of its application is also recommended.
Keywords: Commercial lime, eggshell, dry matter yield and maize