Department of Livestock, Wildlife and Fisheries, Gary Magadzire School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Great Zimbabwe University,
Department of Agriculture Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Zimbabwe Open University,
Department of Agriculture Management, Zimbabwe Open University,
Letticia Kudzai Kokerai
Departtment of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Climate andLands，Government of Zimbabwe,
Inherent soil fertility has led to poor maize productivity in arid and semi-arid areas. The main objective of the study was to assess the effects of cattle manure and inorganic fertiliser on maize productivity. The study was carried out as an experiment in ward 7 of Zaka district as a complete randomised block design with two main treatments (cattle manure applied at 0, 2.5 and 5t ha-1) and inorganic fertiliser (applied at 0, 50 and 100 Kg N ha-1). The treatments were replicated three times. Data was subjective to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using IBM SPSS version 25. The results showed that grain yield, weight of 1000 grains and stover yield were influenced significantly (P<0.05) by the application of cattle manure and inorganic fertilisers. Application of 2.5 t/ha cattle manure showed an increase of 29.7% from 3.32 t/ha from control treatments to 4.72 t/ha. Continuous increase of cattle manure application to 5.0 t/ha with zero application of inorganic fertiliser show a significant (P<0.05) increase of 1000grain weight, grain and stover yields. The combined treatments produced yields which were significantly higher than those produced by cattle manure and inorganic fertiliser applied separately. Treatment N50C2.5 produced 341.6 g, 5.19 t/ha and 9.34 t/ha of 1000 grain weight, grain and stover yields respectively which were significantly (P<0.05) higher than the control treatments which produced 279.8g, 3.32 t/ha and 5.67 t/ha of 1000 grain weight, grain and stover yields respectively. The correlation and regression analyses revealed significant positive relationships between the grain yield and 1000 grain weight. A very close positive correlation (R = 0.88; R2= 0.773 and P<0.0001) was found between the grain yield and the values of weight of 1000 grains. The results show that cattle manure applied in as a sole nutrient source raises soil pH. Total N decreased from 0.12% to 0.06% on the control to 0.11% on treatments with maximum application of cattle manure and inorganic nitrogen. All treatments with cattle manure in sole application increased CEC values. Addition of inorganic fertiliser in treatments decreased CEC.