Response of maize (Zea Mays L.) to zinc fertilization in relation to Mehlich 1 extractable zinc in Northern Nigeria
AbstractThe response of maize (Zea mays L.) variety TZSR-Y grown on soils collected from thirty (30) 1 different locations in northern Nigeria to applied zinc fertilization was examined in two screenhouse pot experiments. The Mehlich I extractable soil zinc (Zn) ranged from 0.6 to 4.1 mgkg-1 with a mean of 2.00 mgkg-1. Due to the wide variations observed in the initial Mehlcih 1 extractable Zn and the large sample soils involved, two fertilizer rates (0 and 10 mgkg-1) were used to determine maize response to applied Zn. In many of the soils, yield was increased by the addition of Zn and there were large differences in response pattern. Dry matter production was higher in the first crop, making 55% of the total against 45% from the second crop. This was attributed to the mineralization and subsequent utilization of Zn reserve in the organic complexes of the soil. Twelve soils representing 40% of the total sample soils did not respond to application of Zn in the first crop while fourteen soils did not respond to Zn application in the second crop. The critical level of Zn in soil and plant, below which response to applied Zn may be expected, was determined by the Cate-Nelson method. The values found were 2.20 and 84 mgkg-1, respectively.
Keywords: Mehlich 1 extractable zinc, critical limit, northern Nigeria, relative yield, maize
Nigeria Journal of Soil Research Vol. 6 2005: 32-41