Effect of Symbiostart and N-P-K Fertilizers On The Yield and Some Agronomic Characteristics of Four, Cultivars Of Maize under Irrigation

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Obi, I.U
Mwandigwe, C.A
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Maize plants showed a rapid and more vigorous initial growth with N-P-K than with"symbiostart" which produced a slower but stead growth. The initial wide differences in the growth pattern of plants under both fertilizer types gradually evened out. "Symbiostart" with its growth hormone and short chain protein content appeared to have a slower Iielease of nutrients. This slow release must have contributed to the steady growth pattern shown by the plants grown in it. The results showed that "symbiostart" compared well with N-P-K fertilizer. It was obvious that the leVlels of "symbiostart" fertilizer used for the experiment did delay maturity. The N-P-K fertilizer also gave a more vigorous growth (as manifested in the significant increase in leaf area) than "symbiostart" fertilizer. Since leaf area increased with increaSiing levels of "symbiostart" the optimum level of this f.ertilizer fo.r vigorous growth was not attained. The pemformance of "symbiostart" did not measure up to what one would expect from such a premium fertilizer. One may, therefore, require higher levels and a greater frequency of "symbiostart" application. The cultivars did not differ in chlorophyll content. However, differences were observed between N-P-K and the lowest level of "symbiostart" in chlorophyll content. Effects of N-,P-K and "symbiostart" levels on grain yield, and weight of grain contained 180 ml cup. Hence whether N-P-K or "symbiostart" fertilizer increased or decreased this weight depended on the cu1tivar and its geno1type. With recent developments of River Basins in Nigeria, there may be a future for "symbiostart" fertilizer in Nigeria's agriculture especially in irrigation systems for intensive crop production. In future it may be necessary to carry out experiments to determine what level and frequency of "symbiostart" to give optimum results for maize ~n this locality. It is only then that one would be able to make valid statements as regards the economics and suitability of "symbiostart" for commercial maize production.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XLIX (1-4), pp. 102-110