NS  Vol.7 No.6 , June 2015
Effect of Tillage Methods and Foliar Fertilization (Boost ExtraTM) on Soil Physical Properties, Weed Dry Matter and Grain Yield of Sorghum in Ejiba, Kogi State, Nigeria
ABSTRACT
An experiment was carried out for two consecutive growing seasons (2012 and 2013) at the Research Site of the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, Ejiba, Nigeria, to examine the response of sorghum to tillage methods and foliar fertilizer (Boost ExtraTM) application. A split plot experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replicates to randomize the tillage methods (main plots) and foliar fertilizer application (sub-plots), respectively. The experiment comprised of three tillage methods: No Tillage (NT), Manual Tillage (MT) and convectional tillage (Ploughing, Harrowing and Ridging, PHR) and three foliar fertilizer rates: 0, 2 and 4 liters of foliar fertilizer per hectare. The parameters taken on soil physical properties and weed characters are soil moisture content (%), soil temperature (℃), weed species and weed dry weight (g). Growth and yield parameters taken are: average plant height (cm), stem girth (cm), leaf area (m2), days to 50% flowering, root dry weight (g), shoot dry weight (g), weight of 1000 seeds and grain yield per land area. Weeds were identified and harvested, and their dry weights were taken and recorded. Data were also collected from ten randomly selected plants in each plot. The data were statistically analyzed using GENSTAT. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out to find out the significance of variation among the treatments while the significant differences between mean treatments were separated using Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT) at 5% level of probability. The results obtained from this study indicated that tillage methods and foliar fertilizer application significantly affected growth and yield parameters of sorghum, consequently the yield per unit area. The results also indicated that “Manually Tilled” seedbed (MT) improved soil physical properties better than either plots with PHR or No Till plots in the study area. Foliar fertilizer application at 2 l/ha performed best in terms of growth and yield. It is therefore recommended that manual tillage should be used as a method of seedbed preparation for sorghum production. However, better and stable grain yield of sorghum could be obtained with the practice of manual tillage (MT) in combination with foliar fertilization at rate of 2 litres/ha. It is recommended that different tillage methods should be combined with foliar fertilizer application for higher grain yield in the study area.

Cite this paper
Ogundare, S. , Aduloju, M. , Ayodele, F. and Olorunfemi, S. (2015) Effect of Tillage Methods and Foliar Fertilization (Boost ExtraTM) on Soil Physical Properties, Weed Dry Matter and Grain Yield of Sorghum in Ejiba, Kogi State, Nigeria. Natural Science, 7, 338-345. doi: 10.4236/ns.2015.76037.
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