Effects of Mineral Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizers on Yield and Nutrient Utilization of Bread Wheat (Tritcum aestivum) on the Sandy Soils of Hawzen District, Northern Ethiopia
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Volume 3, Issue 3, June 2014, Pages: 189-198
Received: May 22, 2014; Accepted: Jun. 19, 2014; Published: Jun. 30, 2014
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Bereket Haileselassie, Mekelle Soil Research Center, Tigray Agricultural Research Institute, Mekelle, Ethiopia
Dawit Habte, Kulumsa Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute, Assela, Ethiopia
Mehretab Haileselassie, Mekelle Soil Research Center, Tigray Agricultural Research Institute, Mekelle, Ethiopia
Gebremedhin Gebremeskel, Mekelle Agricultural Research Center, Tigray Agricultural Research Institute, Mekelle, Ethiopia
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On-farm field experiments were conducted to assess the effects of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) on yield, yield components, nutrients uptake and use efficiencies, protein content of bread wheat, residual soil nitrogen and phosphorus availability and economic return of fertilizer application. The locations of the experiments were in two nearby farmers' field at Hawzen district, Northern Ethiopia. Factorial combinations of five N levels (0, 46, 69, 92 and 138 kg N/ha) and four levels of P (0, 46, 69 and 92 kg P2O5/ha) were laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Experimental Field 1 was relatively better in its soil fertility than experimental Field 2 especially in its phosphorus availability and cation exchange capacity (CEC). However, both fields were low in their total soil nitrogen content. Grain yield of wheat significantly increased by 46% and 15% in Field 1 and Field 2, respectively at nitrogen application rate of 46 kg N/ha than the control. Nitrogen fertilization increased straw yield significantly only in experimental Field 1. Phosphorus application at a rate of 46 kg P2O5/ha increased significantly grain and straw yields by 38 % and 46 %, respectively in Field 2 than control. It is also economical to apply phosphorus at this rate for such farmers’ field because the grain yield marginal rate of return was 179 %. Consistent results were observed on wheat nutrient uptakes and nutrient use efficiencies. Grain and straw yields of wheat were not significantly affected by the main effect of phosphorus application in Field 1. These results are consistent with the soil analysis result before planting where the soil phosphorus was found to be low in Field 1 and very low in Field 2. Previous management by the farmers may have influenced the soil fertility status. There were no interaction effects of nitrogen and phosphorus to affect wheat productivity and nutrient utilization in both fields. Future approach to soil fertility management should consider the past management history and should also be site specific based on soil fertility assessment. As a result, a combined application of 46 kg N/ha and 46 kg P2O5/ha are recommended to achieve sustainable bread wheat production on the sandy soils of Hawzen district. But in fields with higher initial soil phosphorus level, there is no need of applying phosphate fertilizer.
Bread Wheat, Marginal Rate of Return, Nitrogen, Nutrient Use Efficiency, Phosphorus, Protein Content
To cite this article
Bereket Haileselassie, Dawit Habte, Mehretab Haileselassie, Gebremedhin Gebremeskel, Effects of Mineral Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizers on Yield and Nutrient Utilization of Bread Wheat (Tritcum aestivum) on the Sandy Soils of Hawzen District, Northern Ethiopia, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2014, pp. 189-198. doi: 10.11648/j.aff.20140303.18
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