African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of crop rotation and nitrogen fertilization on yield and nitrogen efficiency in maize in the northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria

A. A. Yusuf1*, E. N. O. Iwuafor1, R. C. Abaidoo2, O. O. Olufajo3 and N. Sanginga4
1Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture/Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, P.M.B. 1044, Zaria, Nigeria. 2International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.M.B. 5320, Ibadan, Nigeria. 3Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture/Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, P.M.B. 1044, Zaria, Nigeria. 4Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of CIAT (TSBF-CIAT), P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 August 2009
  •  Published: 31 October 2009

Abstract

Two crop rotation cycles were evaluated to determine the effect of cropping systems and N fertilization on the yield and efficiency of N in maize. Maize was grown on plots which had previously supported monocrops of two genotypes each of soybean (TGx 1448-2E and SAMSOY-2) and cowpea (IT 96D-724 and SAMPEA-7), natural fallow and maize. In a split-plot experimental design, three N fertilizer rates (30, 60 and 90 kg ha-1) and an unfertilized control were compared. On average, maize following legumes had higher grain yield of 1.2 and 1.3-fold compared with maize after fallow or maize after maize respectively. Similarly, legume rotation resulted in significant increase in total N uptake compared to continuous maize. In both years, N agronomic efficiency (AEN) and N fertilizer recovery efficiency (REN) of maize following grain legumes were on average 14 and 34% greater than of maize following maize and 12 and 20% greater than of maize following fallow respectively. On the other hand, all N efficiency indices except N physiological efficiency significantly decreased with increasing N levels. These indicate greater N use efficiency for the legume-rotation and poor efficiency for maize monoculture as well as the inefficiency of the current method of N fertilizer application.

 

Key words: Fallow, grain legumes, maize, N uptake, N use efficiency, N fertilizer recovery efficiency.