Effect of symbiostart and nitrogen phosphorus potassium fertilizers on the yield and some agronomic characteristics of four cultivars of maize under irrigation
Obi, I.U.; Nwandinigwe, C.A.; Olobashola, J.J.
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal 49(1-4): 102-110, 1983
Maize [Zea mays] 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 release 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 levels 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 increasing levels of "Symbiostart" the optimum level of this fertilizer for vigorous growth was not attained. The performance 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 in 180 ml standard maize retail cup did not differ significantly. However, cultivar x fertilizer interaction was observed to be significant for weight of grains contained in 180 ml cup. Hence whether N-P-K or "Symbiostart" fertilizer increased or decreased this weight depended on the cultivar and its genotype. 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 in 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.