Effect of Phosphate Levels on Soil Rhizosphere Nutrient Balances and Finger Millet Yield

Wafula, W N and Korir, N K and Ojulong, H F and Gweyi-Onyango, J P (2016) Effect of Phosphate Levels on Soil Rhizosphere Nutrient Balances and Finger Millet Yield. Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, 02 (01). 01-08.

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Soil infertility is one of the main factors leading to low finger millet production in the semi-arid tropics of Kenya. About 50-80% of P applied as fertilizer is adsorbed by soil and the amount of P needed to achieve maintenance of its adequate status and influence on other soil properties has not been well documented. An on-station experiment was therefore conducted at the KALROKiboko research station during the 2014 long and 2015 short rain seasons to investigate the influence of phosphorus rates on soil rhizosphere chemical properties and yield of three finger millet varieties. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design in factorial arrangement and replicated three times. There were four P levels (0, 12.5, 25 and 37.5 kg ha-1 P2O5) and three varieties (U15, P-224 and local check-Kat FM1). Phosphorus application reduced the soil pH significantly for both seasons with the 37.5 kg ha-1 P2O5 rate eliciting the greatest pH from 9.26 to 7.90 (1.36 units) during the long rain season. As expected, soil phosphorus increased with the highest rate with 11 ppm during the long rain season and 9 ppm for the short rains. The organic carbon increased by 0.28% for the long rain season on the 25 kg ha-1 P2O5 rate while the highest rate increased total N by 0.05%. The 25 kg ha-1 P2O5 rate and U-15 indicated the highest yield for both seasons with a maximum of 3.71 t ha-1 realized during the short rain season. Monitoring change in soil nutrient status is important for prescribing P fertilization in order to maintain or replenish soil fertility. The application rate of 25 kg ha-1 P2O5 led to the optimal yields under the improved variety and hence the study recommends this rate.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals
Uncontrolled Keywords: Finger millet; soil infertility; phosphorus; adsorbed; rhizosphere; Soil sampling
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Mandate crops > Millets > Finger Millet
Others > Soil
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2016 04:35
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2016 04:35
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/9785
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.9734/ARJA/2016/29606
Acknowledgement: We would like to thank the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)-Nairobi, for funding the project. Special thanks to the Director-ESA, Dr. Moses Siambi and the Principal Scientist, Dr. Eric Manyasa for their intellectual and moral support. Special thanks to the entire ICRISAT staff in Nairobi and Kiboko particularly Mr. Patrick Sheunda, Mr. Gelvasio Mukono and Mr. Joseph Kibuka as well as the casuals who made this work possible and successful in the field. We are also much grateful to the Kenya Soil Survey a division of the National Agricultural Research Laboratories for conducting the analysis.
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