Open Access Original Research Article

Grain Protein, Oil and Starch Contents and Yields of Maize (Zea mays L.) as Affected by Deficit Irrigation, Genotype and Their Interaction

A. M. M. Al-Naggar, M. M. M. Atta, M. A. Ahmed, A. S. M. Younis

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-21
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/23570

The main objective of this investigation was to study the effects of deficit irrigation (I) at flowering stage, genotype (G) and G × I interaction on maize grain quality and yield traits of 6 inbred lines and their 15 diallel crosses. The parents and F1's were evaluated in two seasons. A split plot design was used, where main plots were allotted to two irrigation treatments, i.e. well watering by giving all recommended irrigations and water stress by withholding the 4th and 5th irrigations, while sub plots were allotted to genotypes. Water stress caused a significant decrease in protein yield/ha by 25.5 and 13.8%, oil yield/ha by 29.9 and 20.2%, starch yield/ha by 25.0 and 17.03%, grain yield/plant by 32.88 and 19.47% and grain yield/ha by 27.76 and 17.47% for parents and F1's, respectively, but slightly increased grain protein content of F1's by 4.19% and grain starch content of parents by 0.63%. On average, means across F1 crosses were higher than those across inbreds for all studied traits, except for grain protein content, where the opposite was true, under both water stress and non-stress conditions. The rank of inbreds and crosses for studied traits under water stress was changed from that under well watering conditions. Grain yield/ha of drought tolerant (T) was greater than that of sensitive (S) inbreds and crosses by 220.6 and 75.70%, respectively under water stress conditions. This superiority in grain yield/ha was associated with superiority in grain yield/plant, protein yield/ha, oil yield/ha and starch yield/ha. Although there was a negative correlation between grain yield/plant and each of grain protein content and grain oil content in inbreds, it was possible to identify some inbreds and hybrids characterized by high yield and high grain protein or oil content simultaneously under water stress conditions.


Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Fallow Ages on Soil Properties at the Forest-Savanna Boundary in South Western Nigeria

E. O. Onijigin, A. S. Fasina, D. A. Oluwadare, U. O. Ogbonnaya, K. S. Ogunleye, O. J. Omoju

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/23551

Aims: This study examined changes in soil properties under different fallow ages within the forest-savanna boundary in southwest Nigeria.

Study Design: The study area was covered with grid lines of 2 km2 with numbered quadrants. Ten quadrants were randomly selected as sampling sites, from each quadrant, six different fallow plots of varying ages were selected to make up 60 plots of 40 m by 25 m each.

Place and Duration of Study: The research was conducted at Ekiti North local government areas (LGA) of Ekiti State in 2014.

Methodology: Soil samples (0-15 cm) were collected from soils of different fallow ages (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15 and 20 years) and analysed for organic matter, pH, available P, exchangeable cations, nitrate-nitrogen, sand, silt, clay and soil moisture using standard methods.

Results: Most of the examined soil properties increased gradually with increase in fallow age. Significant correlation (r2 = 0.25) was obtained between soil pH and age of fallow in the forest zone. Significant correlation (r2 = 0.01) was obtained between age of fallow and organic matter for both forest and savanna zones thus indicating increase in soil organic matter as fallow age increases. Soils of the forest fallows were more fertile than soils of the savanna. Forest sand decreased with fallow age while there was substantial degradation of clay particles in the savanna.

Conclusion: Late and unmonitored burning system in the savanna fallow should be discouraged. Following the rate of depletion of soil properties due to cultivation and shortening of fallow age, other sustainable options as suggested in this work would help maintain soil fertility.

Open Access Original Research Article

Response of Maize to the Integrated Use of Date Palm Compost and Mineral-N Fertilizer

M. Hashem, M. M. M. Ahmed, Khayria M. Abdel Gawad, Omaima Abdel Monsef

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/22719

The study aimed to assess the effect-combined use different of date palm composts amended with ligno-cellulolytic fungi and mineral-N on growth and N, P and K-uptake of maize plants in sandy calcareous soil. Each type of compost was applied either in organic form in dose equivalent to 100% of N fertilization (285 kg ha-1) or in organic form in combination with mineral-N (50% for each). The experiment was constructed in a complete randomized block design (CRBD). Results showed that plant height and dry weight of shoot and root of maize significantly increased as a result of the combined use of compost with mineral-N (1:1, w:w). All types of composts combined with half-dose of mineral-N was effective, however, compost that contained with Aspergillus niger A. subsessilis + Trichoderma lanuginosus + Bacillus sp. was the best. This type of fertilization increased N-uptake shoot and root of maize more than mineral N-fertilizer by 39.73%-49%. In addition, the P-uptake by shoot and root of maize increased by 58.82%-156%. The addition of compost treatments to the soil increased the total N, P and K after harvesting. Regression analysis showed positive and significant linear correlation between the application rate of compost and the availability of P and K in soil.


Open Access Original Research Article

Agronomic Performance of Sorghum after Panicle Removal

Gabatshele M. Legwaila, Kgomotso Sekgwane, Thembinkosi Mathowa, Witness Mojeremane

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/23140

A field study was conducted at Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) farm to investigate the effect of panicle removal and no panicle removal on growth, yield and yield components of grain sorghum within and across landraces. The experiment was arranged in a complete randomized block design (CRBD), three landraces, two management practices and four replications. The sorghum landraces; segaolane, korwane and mmamokotane designated (T1-T3) represent management practice 1 (panicle removed) whereas controls designated (C1-C3) represent management practice 2 (panicle not removed) were planted in an area of 63 m2. Within landraces, treated (panicle removed) plants revealed significantly (P<.05) lower plant height, number of tillers and grains per head across the landraces. Overall, a non-significant (P<.05) treatment effect was observed for total grain weight and shoot biomass. Untreated plants (panicle not removed) significantly (P<.01) increased the harvest index in segaolane whereas a non-significant treatment effect was observed for korwane and mmamokotane. Across landraces, panicle removal significantly (P<.05) enhanced mmamokotane plant height and shoot biomass whereas it significantly (P<.01) increased the number of grains per head in segaolane. Panicle removal significantly (P<.01) increased total grain, 1000 seed weight and harvest index in korwane whereas a non-significant treatment effect was observed for number of tillers across the landraces. It is concluded that panicle removal is ineffective management practice for enhancing growth, yield and yield components in sorghum landraces.


Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Different Storage Methods and Fertilizer Rates on Quality of Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) Storage Roots

M. E. Essilfie, H. K. Dapaah, J. Ofosu-Anim, E. T. Blay, J. C. Norman

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/23038

Storage of fresh roots of two sweetpotato varieties (Apomuden and Okumkom) for up to 12 weeks was conducted from January to March, 2011 (minor cropping season) and from August to October, 2012 (major cropping season) using three storage methods by pit, ash, and grass. Roots were harvested at week 16 after planting. Sweetpotato was previously amended by treatments of chicken manure (CM) and inorganic fertilizer (NPK). The experimental design was randomized complete block. The result shows that Apomuden grown under amended and control plots and stored in grass, ash or pit did not differ significantly from Okumkom grown under the same treatment. Okumkom applied with 15-30-30 kg/ha NPK + 5t/ha CM and stored in grass gave lowest pest infested roots in both seasons. There was a significant difference between Apomuden and Okumkom grown under amended and control plots and stored in ash, grass and pit in weight loss of roots in both seasons. There was no significant difference between Apomuden and Okumkom grown under amended and control plots and stored in pit in root sprout during the major cropping season storage. However, Okumkom and Apomuden stored in pit had higher root sprout compared with ash or grass during the major cropping season. Okumkom applied with 15-15-15 kg/ha NPK +5t/ha CM and 30 – 45 – 45 kg/ha NPK and stored in grass did not sprout at 12 weeks after storage in both seasons. Okumkom applied with 15-30-30 kg/ha NPK + 5t/ha CM and 15-15-15 kg/ha NPK +5t/ha CM and stored in grass produced the least pest infestation, lower root weight and root sprout compared with Apomuden on the same treatment. There was no significant difference between Apomuden and Okumkomgrown under amended and control plots and stored in grass, ash or pit in rotten roots during both storage periods. However, for lower rotten roots, the amended roots should be stored in pit than in grass or ash.


Open Access Original Research Article

Carbon Stock in Different Pools across Different Vegetation Structures in a Tropical Rainforest in Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Onome O. Arubasa, Anthony I. Odiwe

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/23719

Carbon stock in the soil pool, shrubs, herbaceous plants and standing floor litters across different vegetation structures were investigated in a tropical rainforest with the aim of providing information on the carbon stock in these pools across these physiognomies. Two plots, each of 20x20 cm were marked out at each site, five lines transects were systematically laid in each plot and a quadrat of 1×1 m was established at every 2 m point where the above ground biomass of shrubs and herbs were collected by clipping at 2 cm above the ground, oven dried at 70°C to a constant weight and weighed. Standing floor litters were randomly collected at every three month intervals for a period of one year at five points using a quadrat size of 50×50 cm for a period of one year; sorted out into leaves and wood, oven dried at 70°C to a constant weight. Five soil samples were also randomly collected from each plot at 0-15 cm depth, air dried, sieved and analyzed for total organic carbon. Carbon stock ranged from 0.27-0.74 Mg C ha-1 in the herbs, 1.86-3.51 Mg C ha-1 in shrubs in the study sites. Carbon stock in standing floor litters ranged from 5.83-25.44 Mg C ha-1. Soil carbon stock was significantly higher (F 2, 27 (0.05) = 295.61; P = 4.39×10-19) in the Tectona grandis plantation compared to other vegetations. Contributions of C stock is in the order of soil > standing floor litter > Shrubs >herbs.