African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6849

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of manure and variety on growth and yield of maize under managed water stress at Salima in Malawi

S. K. Nambuzi
  • S. K. Nambuzi
  • Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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V. H. Kabambe
  • V. H. Kabambe
  • Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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W. G. Mhango
  • W. G. Mhango
  • Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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M. F. A. Maliro
  • M. F. A. Maliro
  • Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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J. M. Bokosi
  • J. M. Bokosi
  • Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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  •  Received: 25 June 2018
  •  Accepted: 04 October 2018
  •  Published: 31 May 2024

Abstract

Drought and low soil fertility are the primary constraints to maize productivity in Malawi. An experiment was conducted at Lifuwu Agricultural Research Station in Malawi during the 2016 dry season under furrow irrigation to evaluate the impact of goat manure application and drought on the growth and grain yield of the hybrid DKC8053 variety and the synthetic ZM523 variety. These varieties share a maturity period ranging from 110 to 130 days and are characterized as drought and low nitrogen tolerant. Manure application rates ranged from 0 to 10 t ha-1 and were halved for both basal and top dressing.  Application of manure significantly mitigated the adverse effects of drought on both the growth and grain yield of maize. Without manure application, there was a highly significant decrease (p<.001) in growth and grain yield for both varieties, with DKC8053 experiencing a more pronounced effect, measuring 89.60 cm and 1060 kg ha-1, respectively, compared to ZM523 with 96.48 cm and 2140 kg ha-1, respectively. However, with manure application rates of 5 and 10 t ha-1, maize plant growth significantly increased (p<.001) from 89.60 cm to 251 cm. Under water stress treatments, ZM523 exhibited a 5% greater height (155.63 cm) compared to DKC8053 (141.53 cm), whereas DKC8053 demonstrated greater height under well-watered, well-fertilized conditions (251.55 cm). The application of manure consistently increased maize grain yield from 1060 to 8882 kg ha-1. When subjected to water stress, ZM523 showed a higher increase in grain yield (8521 kg ha-1) compared to DKC8053 (7234 kg ha-1). However, under well-watered, well-fertilized conditions, both varieties performed similarly, yielding 8661 kg ha-1 and 8882 kg ha-1, respectively. Therefore, maize varieties ZM523 and DKC8053 exhibited better yields under manure application, as it helped conserve water holding capacity.

Key words: Organic manure, drought, low soil fertility, DKC8053, ZM523.