Nitrogen use in maize-grain legume cropping systems in semi-arid Kenya

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Date
1995
Authors
Pilbean G.J
Wood M.
Mugane P.G
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Abstract
Locally suitable cultivars of maize, beans, and cowpeas were grown in field experiments for four seasons in semi-arid Kenya. For three seasons, the dry matter production and grain yield of maize and beans were not increased by N fertilizer additions up to 120 kg N ha -1. Fertilizer recoveries measured by 15N isotope dilution techniques were low, less than 200/0. Inoculated and uninoculated beans failed to fix N2. By contrast the cowpea derived 50% of its N from fixation, equivalent to 197 kg N ha -1. The N content of the grain generally exceeded 40 kg N ha -1, and the N content of the seeds from the grain legumes were greater than those from the cereals. Large inputs of N fertilizer or N by fixation are required if maize-grain legume cropping system in semiarid Kenya are to be sustained in the long term.
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Soil Science, 20, p. 57-62
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