Maize (Zea mays L.) production in the Sudan savannah agro-ecological zone of Ghana is hindered by erratic rainfall and low soil fertility. This study was conducted to refine profitable fertilizer recommendations for maize production on a selected benchmark soil in Sudan savannah agro-ecological zone using Decision Support System for Agro-technology transfer (DSSAT). Maize variety Obaatanpa was used for the experiment and the rates of N P K nutrients evaluated were 0-0-0, 0-90-90, 40-90-90, 80-90-90, 120-0-90, 120-45-90, 120-90-90, 120-90-0, 120-90-45 and 160-90-90 kg ha-1. Predictive ability of the model was tested and validated and the simulation of maize yields with nutrient rates. Results showed that treatment 160-90-90 was efficient for maize production in 2010 growing season and 120-0-90 was efficient for maize production in 2011 growing season. However, the use of treatment 120-90-90 was more preferred and sustainable option for maize production due to the available types and combinations of fertilizer in the Ghanaian market, affordability and prevalence of P-deficient soils. Model sensitiveness to N fertilizer rates should be reworked in order to make model predictions for treatments with low N rates more accurate.
Key words: maize production, agro-ecological and fertilizer.
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