Acidic soil amendment for maize production in Uasin Gishu District, North Rift Kenya

Soil acidity is one of the factors limiting maize production in some parts of Kenya notably in Uasin Gishu plateau. Several means of amending the problem such as liming, use of organic farmyard manure (FYM) alone or in combination with inorganic fertilisers and also use of non┬Čacidifying fertilisers have been suggested. Several formulations of fertilisers that can be used as alternatives to Diamonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser which is said to aggravate the acidity problem have been produced. The objectives of the trial were to investigate the effects of various amendments on soil chemical properties and to determine the best inorganic fertilisers or organic manure combinations for higher maize production. Maize hybrid 614D was planted in two sites namely Soy and Turbo in Uasin Gishu District following the recommended cultural practices except fertiliser application. The trial had the following treatments: 23:23:0/CAN, DAP/CAN, DAP+Lime/CAN, FYM/CAN, FYM + maize stover, Minjingu phosphate/CAN, TSP/CAN, TSP+'/3 CAN/CAN, TSP+FYM/CAN and TSP+ maize stover/CAN. Results indicated that soil acidity improved with the application of agricultural lime in some seasons. Farmyard manure also improved soil pH but the change was not as instant as was for lime. However, soil acidity improvement through manure would be more sustainable with time than use of lime. The increase in pH could not be directly associated with maize yields. Soil pH as low as 4.5 did not reduce maize yields provided the limiting nutrients were supplied at the recommended rates. Soil extractable phosphorus accumulation due to lime, phosphatic fertilisers and organic manures occurred within the first six seasons. Although phosphorus was limiting, planting with farmyard manure and then topdressing with CAN produced yields that were equivalent to maize planted with either phosphorus or phosphorus with lime and then topdressed with CAN. Compound phosphatic fertilisers with starter nitrogen gave higher maize yields than straight phosphatic fertilisers.
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Participatory technology development by small holders in Kenya: Proceedings of the 2nd scientific conference of the soil management and legume research network projects, Gachene, C. K.Muyekho, F. N.Onyango, M.Mose, L.Magenya, O..- Nairobi: KARI, 2002. Par
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KARI NARL Library(NARI Repository)
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