RESPONSE OF MAIZE (Zea mays L.) TO AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF MORINGA (Moringa oleifera LAM.) AND NITROGEN RATES. PART II
Published in Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy, Vol. LVII
Written by Mustapha Alhaji MUHAMMAN, Bindawa Mohammed AUWALU, Sanusi Gaya MOHAMMED
Maize (Zea mays L.), the major staple crop in Nigeria is recording low yield ha-1 in farmer’s field. The low yield is attributed to inadequate application of fertilizers more especially the nitrogen type. Fertilizer is a scarcest and expensive commodity to small scale farmers who constitute major maize producers. Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) a common plant in Nigeria were earlier reported to improve crop growth and yield. Thus, field experiments were conducted in 2009 and 2010 rainy seasons at the Teaching and Research Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria to study the response of Maize to Aqueous Extract of Moringa and Nitrogen rates. Treatments consist of four concentrations of moringa shoots extract (0%, 3%, 4% and 5%) and three Nitrogen rates (0, 60, 120 kg N ha-1). These treatments in a factorial combination were laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Foliar spray of moringa extract on maize started at 2 weeks after sowing and continued fortnightly until 8 weeks after sowing. Nitrogen rates were applied in two doses at land preparation and at 5 weeks after sowing. Data were collected on Leaf area index, Crop growth rate, Net assimilation rate and Grain yield ha-1 and were subjected to Analysis of Variance. Results showed significant effects of moringa extract and Nitrogen rates with interactions on the parameters. Based on the results, it was concluded that moringa extract can compliment nitrogen fertilizer on the growth and yield of maize. Therefore, 120 kg N ha-1 with 5 % moringa extract which manifested highest effect on the parameters should be adopted to improve yield per unit area.