Effect of Tillage Practices and Phosphorus Application on Biomass and Grain Yield of Maize (Zea mays L.) on two P-retention Soils in Ghana
Phosphorus retention by soils limits the availability of the plant nutrient for uptake. The effect is decreased plant growth and yield since P is required for root, shoot and reproductive development. Reduction in grain yield creates enormous gap in meeting the food need of society.
Strategies that enhance the availability of P are vital in increasing soil productivity. The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of tillage and rate of P applied on biomass and grain yield of maize at three growth stages on two P retention soils. The experiment was a split plot arranged in randomized complete block design with three replications. Two tillage treatments: conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT) were the main plots and four rates of phosphorus (P0, P30, P60 and P90) were the subplots. Maize biomass and grain yield were significantly (p < 0.05) higher at all growth stages under CT for both soil types except the Rhodic Lixisol which recorded similar grain yield for both tillage types. Moreover, at all growth stages and both soil types, P60 produced significantly higher maize biomass and grain yield. Mechanical manipulation of soil and higher P rates were thus more likely to increase P availability for maize growth and yield. However, continuous conventional tillage might degrade the soil in
the long run.