The Effects of Sulphur on Maize Yields in Western Kenya

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Allan, A.Y.
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After Sulphur (S) deficiencies were seen in maize crops in Trans Nzoia District, W. Kenya, in 1968, trials to study S fertilization were laid down in 17 farmers' fields in 1969-70. On average, the addition of 42 kg/ha of S to maize which had adequate N and P increased grain yields very significantly from 52.5 to 61.9 quintals/ha, a gain of 18 per cent. Typical symptoms of S deficiencies were observed and are described. Chemical analysis of index leaves at tasselling showed that treatments without S averaged 0.13 per cent S, compared with 0.19 per cent when 42 kg/ha S was applied. Ratios between per cent N and per cent S were useful in diagnosing S shortages, particularly when N and P were adequate. Deficiencies occurred mostly on fields newly broken from grass, and became more acute when fertilizers containing no S were used there. Deficiencies could easily be avoided, or remedied by using S-containing fertilizers. Shortages of S were apparently not confined to only 1 or 2 soil types, and could become more widespread and serious in future on Kenya maize.
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 41 (No. 4), pp. 313-322