Improving maize (Zea mays L.) growth and yield using Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) seed cake under Zimbabwean soil condition

Mavankeni, Busiso Olga (2007) Improving maize (Zea mays L.) growth and yield using Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) seed cake under Zimbabwean soil condition. UNSPECIFIED thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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A research study exploring the use of jatropha seed cake as a sole source of nutrients and used in combination with inorganic N fertilizer was conducted on station at Henderson Research Station on sandy and clayey soils during the rainy season of 2006/2007. Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of jatropha seed cake on maize dry matter and grain yield and its effect on weed density and biomass. Experiment 1 explored the use of jatropha seed cake rates ranging from 767kg/ha to 3835kg/ha in maize production. Included in the experiment were three other treatments viz extension recommendation for inorganic fertilizer, farmer¡¦s practice of applying cattle manure and a control. A Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) was used and a total of 8 treatments were assessed. Jatropha seed cake application rate and inorganic fertilizer had higher yields (P „T 0.05) on maize dry matter yield at 4, 8 and 12wace on the sandy soil site. Application of 2301kg/ha of jatropha seed cake and the extension recommendation resulted in maize dry matter yields of 3059kg/ha and 3399kg/ha respectively at 12wace. There were no differences noted in maize dry matter yields on the clayey soil site. Weed densities of the following species F exilis and Eragrostis spp (sandy soil site ) and T. annua, C. rotundus, and L. martinicensis (clayey soil site) were significantly reduced (P<0.05) where jatropha seed cake was applied. Weed biomass on the sandy soil site was reduced by 30% along the maize rows. In experiment 2, three levels of jatropha seed cake were tested (0, 767kg/ha and 1534kg/ha) in combination with 3 levels of inorganic nitrogen levels (0, 25kg/ha and 50 kg/ha N) The N was applied as topdressing at 6wace. The other treatments included use of 200kg/ha Compound D (N: 7%, P:14% and K: 7%) as basal fertilizer in combination with the three inorganic N fertilizer rates. 12 treatments were tested in this experiment and it was laid out as a 3 x 3 factorial arranged in an RCBD design. The jatropha seed cake levels performed equally as well as the inorganic fertilizer treatment in terms of dry matter yield at 4 and 8 wace. The maize grain yield was significantly higher (P<0.05) were jatropha seed cake was applied (954kg/ha and 1036kg/ha) for the 767kg/ha and 1534kg/ha rates. The control had lower grain yield (538kg/ha). The interaction between the jatropha cake rate and inorganic N rate was not significant (P>0.05). The results from this study suggest that smallholder farmers can apply jatropha seed cake at a rate of 767kg/ha in maize production and 25kg/ha inorganic N can be used as a top dressing fertilizer.

Item Type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords: staple crop,maize production,seed cake,jatropha cake
Divisions: Universities > State Universities > University of Zimbabwe
Depositing User: Mr. Edmore Sibanda
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2015 23:00
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2015 23:00

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