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Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 4, 2007

RESPONSE OF MAIZE VARIETIES TO PHOSPHORUS AND POTASSIUM LEVELS

Nazim Hussain * , Amir Zaman Khan * , Habib Akbar * , Nabi Ghulam Bangash ** , Zafar Hayat Khan * and Mohammad Idrees *

ABSTRACT

An experiment was conducted to assess the influence of different levels of phosphorus and potassium on the yield and yielding components of maize (Zea mays L.) at Agricultural Research Farm of NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar during crop season 2003. Randomized Complete Block (RCB) Design with four replications in a split plot arrangements was used. Two varieties, i.e. Azam and Kissan-90 and three level each of P and K i.e. (30, 60 and 90 kg ha -1 ) was used. The results of different potassium and phosphorus levels depicted that higher rates of both the fertilizers have significantly increased the number of grains ear -1 , weight ear -1 , and 1000-grains weight. For grain yield potassium sole effect was non significant but it interacted significantly with maize varieties and phosphorus levels. Sole effect of phosphorus as well as combine effects of phosphorus with varieties, and potassium levels was found significant for grain yield of maize. Varieties showed significant difference for 1000-grains weight and grain yield. Overall, it is concluded that variety Azam with 90 kg P ha -1 and 60 kg K ha -1 performed well for maximum grain yield as compared to variety Kissan-90.

Keywords: Maize, Phosphorus, Potassium, Varieties, Yield, Yielding Components

INTRODUCTION Pakistan is situated in arid and semi-arid region of world between 24º N and 37º N latitude and between 61º E and 77º E longitude (Zia and Hussain, 2000). Maize (Zea mays L.) as cereal is next to established crops wheat and rice in Pakistan. It is grown extensively in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions. For the year 2005-2006 total area under maize in Pakistan was 1029.59 (000) hectares with a total production of 3560.00 (000) tonnes and the average yield was 3458 kg ha -1 . In NWFP during 2005-2006 the total area under maize crop was 492.0 (000) hectares with a total production of 784.00 (000) tonnes with an average yield of 1593 kg ha -1 (MINFAL, 2005-2006). Average grain yield of maize is low in Pakistan as compared to many developed countries of the world e.g. USA, Argentina, Russia, India, Brazil and China.

Fertilizer use in Pakistan is imbalanced. The use of nitrogen is satisfactory, Phosphorus is in-adequate and Potassium is only nominal. Thus, adequate and balanced fertilization of crops is the key to practicing efficient and profitable fertilization of crops for achieving maximum economic yields (Saleem, 1999). It implies the balancing of the ratio of nutrients applied and those available from soil approximate to the requirements of the plants and to the balance sheet for their optimal growth to achieve target yield. It is also essential to determine balance nutrient because they have become an important management and educational tool. At the farm level the balance between inputs and outputs of P and K and, thus, any need to modify the

fertilization practice, especially not to deplete soil nutrients profile. At the country level, nutrient balance is important for fertilizer supply to policy makers (Jhonston, 1998).

Phosphorus is second major nutrient after nitrogen for high crop yield especially for maize, because it is frequently deficient for crop production and is required by crops in relatively large amounts. The total P concentration in agricultural crops generally ranges from 0.1 to 0.5 percent. Phosphorus is taken up mostly as the primary orthophosphate ion (H 2 PO 4 - ), but some is also absorbed in the secondary orthophosphate form (HPO 4 -- ). The later form increases as the soil pH increases. Phosphates are vital component of all living things. In plants, P is necessary for photosynthesis, respiration, cellular function, gene transfer and reproduction. Once aware of the critical link between P and life itself, it becomes apparent that "Without phosphorus, there is no cell, plant and grain and without adequate phosphorus, there is alot of hunger". Phosphorus deficiency is widespread in 90% of the Pakistani soils and the application of phosphatic fertilizers is considered essential for a crop production (Rashid and Memon, 2001).

Potassium requirement of maize is high as it absorbs potassium in large quantities than any other element, except nitrogen. Percentage of potassium in earth is about 2.6 %. In the soils of Pakistan mica minerals are abundant which contain 6-10% potassium. Soils of Pakistan have sufficient amount of it, but due to

Nazim Hussain et al. Response of Maize varieties to Phosphorus and Potassium…

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low solubility of K-compounds, they are not available to plants. Potassium plays an important role in improving quality of crops. In plants potassium stimulates about 80 different types of enzymes (Kasana and Khan, 1976). It stimulates in the stomatal functioning and helps plants to grow under drought conditions. (Hsiao, 1973). Potassium is not a constituent of organic structure but regulates enzymatic activities and translocation of photosynthates (Mengel and Kirkby, 1987). It enhances the root development due to which vegetative growth and production is increased (Yadav and Swami, 1988).

30 kg ha -1 was used for both varieties. Furadon granules were applied at the rate of 5 kg ha -1 before 1st irrigation, 10 days after emergence to control stalk borer (Chilo partellus Swin). Hoeing was done twice to keep the crop free of weeds. All other agronomic practices were kept normal and uniform for all the experimental units. The data were recorded on weight ear -1 (g), Grains ear -1 , 1000- grains weight (g) and grain yield (kg ha -1 ), respectively.

The following treatments were considered in the experiment.

A. Varieties

Leon (1999) concluded that yield components like 1000-grain weight and number of grains ear -1 remained unaffected like plant height, days taken to

V 1 = Azam V 2 = Kissan-90

tasseling and silking, however, stalk yield and

B.

Phosphorus levels (kg ha -1 )

protein contents were significantly affected with

P 1 = 30

P 3 = 90

the potassium and phosphorus application.

P 2 = 60

Keeping these facts in view, investigation was conducted to evaluate the yield potential of maize varieties at different phosphorus and potassium levels under irrigated conditions at Peshawar valley.

MATERIALS AND METHODS An investigation on the ‘Response of Maize varieties to Phosphorus and Potash Levels’ was conducted in a Randomized Complete Block (RCB) Design with 4 replications in a split plot arrangements at Agricultural Research Farm of NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar during kharif 2003. The site is located at 34º N (latitude), 71.3º E (longitudes) with an altitude of 450 meters above sea level having continental type of climate. The crop was planted on 18th June, 2003. The objective was to observe plant nutrients (P and K) effect on yield and yield components of maize varieties i.e. Azam and Kissan-90. The soil of the experimental site was silty clay loam with a clay type montmorillonite, low in nitrogen (0.03- 0.04%), organic matter (0.8-0.9%) and alkaline in reaction with a pH 8.0-8.2 (Shah et al. 1993). Recommended basal dose of nitrogen at the rate of 120 kg ha -1 was applied to the crop. Varieties and phosphorus levels were allotted to main plots while potassium to subplots. The sub plots with an area of 13.5 m² were established to accommodate 4 rows with 75 cm apart from each other having plant to plant distance of 25 cm. Whole of the phosphorus and potassium along with half of the nitrogen fertilizer were applied at sowing time, in the form of Single Super Phosphate (SSP), Sulphate of Potassium (SoP) and urea, respectively. While the remaining half of nitrogen was applied when the crop was at knee height stage. Plots were thoroughly prepared before sowing. A seed rate of

C. Potassium levels (kg ha -1 )

K

K

1

2

=

=

30

60

K 3 =

90

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS Data recorded for each trait were individually subjected to the ANOVA technique using MSTAT-

C computer software. Means were separated using

LSD test to differentiate the treatments at 5% level

of probability according to Steel and Torrie, 1980.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Number of Grains Ear -1 Statistical analysis of the data (Table I) indicated that potassium levels, phosphorus levels and interaction between varieties (V) and potassium levels (K) have significantly affected number of grains per ear -1 , while varieties, and all other interactions were non significant. Mean values of potassium levels showed that maximum (324) number of grains ear -1 was obtained at 90 kg K ha -1 while minimum (271) grains ear -1 with 30 kg K ha - 1 , respectively. Similarly, maximum number of (309) grains ear -1 was obtained with 90 kg P ha -1 , while minimum (291) grains ear -1 were counted for plots treated with 30 kg P ha -1 , respectively. The interaction of V x K showed that more number of grains ear -1 (335) was noted in Azam variety with 90 kg K ha -1 (Fig.1). These results are in agreement with Leon (1999) and contrary to Chaudary and Malik (2000) who reported that number of grains ear -1 remained unaffected by potassium application.

Weight Ear -1 Mean data (Table I) showed that Phosphorus, Potassium levels and interaction i.e. V x P and P x

K had significant affect on weight ear -1 of maize.

Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 4, 2007

While V × K interaction was found non-significant.

Plots that received 90 kg P ha -1 increased weight

ear -1 (97 g) while weight ear -1 was minimum (93 g)

for both 30 and 60 kg ha -1 phosphorus. Plots treated with 90 kg K ha -1 gave heavier ears of 101g as compared to 30 kg K ha -1 with 87 g weight ear -1 . In case of combination effects, variety Azam interacted significantly with phosphorus level of 90 kg ha -1 for maximum (98 g) weight ear -1 (Fig. 2). Similarly, phosphorus also interacted significantly with potassium levels for weight ear -1 and

maximum ear weight (106 g) was observed with 90

x 90 (P x K) kg ha -1 . All these findings are in

partial conformity with those of Leon (1999) who concluded that maize was responsive to P and K

fertilizers and high rates of P and K (80 – 120 kg

ha -1 ) are required for optimum production.

1000-Grains Weight Thousand grains weight was significantly affected by varieties, potassium and phosphorus levels (Table I). In case of combine effect, only V x P was found significant, while all other interaction effects were non-significant for 1000-grains weight. Mean values of the varieties showed that maximum (273 g) 1000-grains weight was observed for variety Azam, while variety Kissan-90 gave minimum

(269 g) 1000-grains weight. Increased phosphorus level also increased 1000-grains weight and maximum (285 g) 1000-grains weight was observed in plots fertilized with 90 kg P ha -1 , while 30 kg K ha -1 gave minimum (255 g) 1000-grains weight. In case of potassium levels, maximum ( 307 g) 1000-grains weight was found with 90 kg K

ha -1 , while minimum (233 g) was obtained with 30

kg K ha -1 . The interaction of V x P was significant. Variety Kissan-90 with 90 kg P ha -1 interacted strongly for maximum (288 g) 1000-grains weight (Fig.3). These results are in line with that of Khan et al. (1996) who found significant interaction of variety with fertilizer for 1000-grains weight. Similarly, Leon (1999) found P x K fertilizer interaction significant for maize production.

883

Grain Yield The statistical analysis of the data indicated that phosphorus doses had significantly affected grain yield of maize varieties (Table I). Variety Azam produced maximum grain yield of 1791 kg ha -1 as compared to Kissan-90, which gave minimum grain yield of 1506 kg ha -1 . The difference between these two varieties might be due to dominate phenotype of Azam cultivar over Kissan-90 which resulted in more dry matter accumulation at reproductive stage and hence partitioned more grain yield as compared to Kissan-90. These findings are in line with those of Muhammad et al. (2002) who reported that variety Azam showed best results for grain yield than Kissan-90 variety. Grain yield was increased with Phosphorus application. Plots treated with 90 kg P ha -1 gave maximum grain yield of 1760 kg ha -1 as compared to lower nutrient grain yield while 30 kg P ha -1 gave minimum of 1582 kg ha -1 grain yield. All the interactions between VxP, VxK and PxK were significant. In V x P interaction (Fig. 4a), maximum grain yield of 1950 kg ha -1 was obtained from plots that received variety Azam and applied with 90 kg P ha -1 . In V x K interaction (Fig. 4b), maximum grain yield of 1873 kg ha -1 was noticed in plots where Azam variety was sown and treated with 60 kg K ha -1 . The combination of P x K at the rate of 90 x 60 kg ha -1 produced maximum grain yield of 1829 kg ha -1 . Potassium did not show the sole effect on grain yield of maize cultivars. These findings are similar to those of Khan and Taj (1996), Leon (1999) and Stauffer et al. (1995) who found significant interaction among NPK fertilizers and reported increase in grain yield with the application of these nutrients to maize crop.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Azam variety proved its superiority over variety Kissan-90 by interacting significantly with 90 kg P ha -1 and 60 kg K ha -1 . Therefore, it can be successfully grown for higher grain yield in agro- climatic condition of Peshawar.

Nazim Hussain et al. Response of Maize varieties to Phosphorus and Potassium…

884

500 Azam Kissan-90 400 335 a 314 b 301 bc 302 b 285 c 300
500
Azam
Kissan-90
400
335 a
314 b
301 bc 302 b
285 c
300
257 d
200
100
0
30
60
90
Potassium levels (kg
ha -1 )
No. of grains ear -1

Fig. 1

Interaction effect of potassium and maize varieties on number of grains ear -1

Azam Kissan-90 100 98a 98 97a 96 94b 94b 94 93bc 92 91c 90 88
Azam
Kissan-90
100
98a
98
97a
96
94b
94b
94
93bc
92
91c
90
88
86
30
60
90
Weight ear -1 (g)

Fig. 2

Phosphorus Levels (kg ha -1 )

Interaction effect of phosphorus and maize varieties on weight ear -1

300 Azam Kissan-90 288a 290 283b 280 276c 269d 270 260 256e 254e 250 240
300
Azam
Kissan-90
288a
290
283b
280
276c
269d
270
260
256e
254e
250
240
230
30
60
90
1000 Grains Weight (g)

Fig. 3

Phosphorus levels (kg ha -1 )

Interaction effect of phosphorus and maize varieties on 1000-grains weight

Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 4, 2007

885

2500 Azam Kissan-90 1950a 2000 1740b 1682b 1571c 1466d 1481cd 1500 1000 500 0 30
2500
Azam
Kissan-90
1950a
2000
1740b
1682b
1571c
1466d
1481cd
1500
1000
500
0
30
60
90
Grain yield (kg ha -1 )

Fig. 4a

Phosphorus levels(kg ha -1 )

Interaction effect of phosphorus and maize varieties on the grain yield

2500 Azam Kissan-90 2000 1873a 1786b 1713c 1565d 1491e 1463e 1500 1000 500 0 30
2500
Azam
Kissan-90
2000
1873a
1786b
1713c
1565d
1491e
1463e
1500
1000
500
0
30
60
90
Grain yield (kg ha -1 )

Fig. 4b

Potassium levels kg ha -1

Interaction effect of potassium levels and maize varieties on the grain yield

Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 4, 2007

886

Table I. Essential yield components of maize as influenced by phosphorus and potassium fertilization under irrigated conditions of Peshawar.

Yield Parameters

Factors

No. of Grains Ear -1

Weight Ear -1 (g)

1000-Grains Weight

Grain Yield (kg

 

(g)

ha -1 )

Varieties

Azam

298

95

273 a

1791 a

Kissan-901

300

94

269 b

1506 b

LSD

ns

ns

*

*

Phosphorous (kg ha -1 )

 

30

291 b

93 b

255 c

1582 b

60

297 ab

93 b

273 b

1603 ab

90

309 a

97 a

285 a

1760 a

LSD

13.07

1.352

3.617

64.58

Potassium (kg ha -1 )

30

271 c

87 c

233 c

1624

60

302 b

95 b

274 b

1682

90

324 a

101 a

307 a

1639

LSD

11.90

1.277

7.254

ns

Interactions (Maximum values presented)

V

x P

Azam x 90

Kissan-90 x 90

Azam x 90

 

ns

(98)

(288)

(1950)

V

x K

Azam x 90

Azam x 60

 

(335)

ns 90 x 90

ns

(1873)

P

x K

90 x 60

 

ns

(106)

ns

(1829)

*

= Significant at P < 0.05

V

= Varieties

P

= Phosphorus

K

= Potassium

ns

= Non-significant

V

x P

= Interaction between Varieties and Phosphorus

V

x K

= Interaction between Varieties and Potassium

P

x K

= Interaction between Phosphorus and Potassium

LSD = Least Significant Difference

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