College of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad Karnataka, India
Molecular Plant Breeding, 2013, Vol. 4, No. 37 doi: 10.5376/mpb.2013.04.0037
Received: 08 Nov., 2013 Accepted: 22 Nov., 2013 Published: 26 Nov., 2013
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Channabasamma et al., Effect of Nitrogen and Sulphur Levels and Ratios on Growth and Yield of Maize, Molecular Plant Breeding, Vol.4, No. 37 292-296 (doi: 10.5376/mpb.2013.04.0037)
A field experiment was conducted during karif 2011 at Shirol village of Nargund taluk in Gadag district to study the effect of levels and ratios of nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers on growth and yield of maize (zea mays L.) under irrigation. The experiment was conducted in vertisol by adopting randomised complete block design (RCBD) with three replication and fourteen treatment combinations. Application of nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers @ 150: 30 with a N: S ratio of 5:1 was found superior in terms of plant height, number of leaves per plant, dry matter production, number of grains per row, grain number per cob and grain weight per cob over other treatments. Similarly, the highest grain yield of 75 q/ha and straw yield 9.30 t/ha was recorded with the application of 150 kg N and 30 kg S per hectare with an N: S ratio of 5:1.
Among cereals, maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the important cereal crops next only to wheat and rice in the world. In India, it ranks fourth after rice, wheat and sorghum. In India, it is cultivated over an area of 8.33 million ha with an annual production of 16.68 million tones and productivity of 2002 kg per ha (Anon., 2011). Maize is being grown both as food and fodder crop and is also required by various industries. In India, about 35% of the maize produced is used for human consumption, 25% each as poultry and cattle feed and 15% in food and the remaining used by the other industries involved in the production of corn flakes, popcorn, starch, dextrose, corn syrup and corn oil etc.
The role of N and S in the synthesis of proteins and the supply of these nutrients to maize is known to enhance yield and quality of crops. A shortage in the S supply affects the utilization of the available nitrogen by crop (Likkineni and Abrol, 1994). Since, sulphur and nitrogen both are required for the synthesis of proteins the ratio of total N to total S in plant tissue has a direct bearing on protein synthesis (Brunold and Suter, 1984).
Sulphur is gaining importance in crop production in all regions because of its wide spread deficiencies in time and space. Several factors contributing to S deficiencies include the increased use of S-free high analysis fertilizers, multiple and high intensity cropping, removal of crop residues for feed and fuel, leaching, and erosion. In S-deficient conditions, the efficiency of applied NPK fertilizers and the economics of their use may be seriously affected causing low crop yields.. The application of nutrients like N, P, K, S and Mg etc. in balanced amounts is essential for plant growth and development (Mahmood, 1994; Randhawa and Arora, 2000).
Results and Discussion
Growth parameters The different levels and ratios of nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers significantly influenced the height of maize plant and number of leaves per plant, dry matter production at all growth stages. Application of fertilizers at the rate of 150: 30 with a N: S ratio of 5:1 significantly increased the height of maize plant and number of leaves per plant, dry matter production (Table 1~Table 3). Further increase in levels of fertilizers 175 kg N per ha with varied S levels (30 kg/ha, 20 kg/ha and 10 kg/ha) with a N: S ratio of 5.83:1, 8.73:1, 17.5:1 could not bring significant improvement in these parameters. However, the treatments receiving N and S fertilisers @ 175:30, 175:20 and 175:10 kg fertilizers per ha with N:S ratios of 5.83:1,875:1 and 17.5:1 were also on par with T9. Higher photosynthetic activity and chlorophyll synthesis due N and S fertilisation seemed to have a favourable effect plant height, number of leaves per plant and dry matter production. These findings are in conformity with the findings of Halikatti (1980), Kochar et al (1990).
Table 1 Plant height (cm) of maize as influenced by levels and ratios of nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers
Table 2 Number of leaves per plant as influenced by levels and ratios of nitrogen and sulphur fertilizer
Table 3 Dry matter yield of maize as influenced by levels and ratios of nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers
In maize, yield of crop is the manifestation of yield attributing characters (Matsushima, 1976). Higher grain yield could be attributed to higher yield attributing characters like, number of grain per row, grain weight per plant, grain number per ear, weight of 100 seeds, grain weight per ear .The increased growth and vigour of maize plant caused by the application of higher amounts of N and S fertilizers leads to higher yield and dry matter production. An increase in dry matter and yield attributes was observed by Akmal Pasha (2005) in maize. Further, sulphur fertilization results in greater translocation of photosynthates from vegetative parts to developing grains. Moreover, nitrogen and sulphur nutrients have synergistic effects on growth and yield attributes resulting in grater translocation of photosynthates from source to sink. In the light of these, the higher grain yield (75 q/ha) and straw yield (9.30 t/ha) were recorded with increase in application of nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers up to 150:30 kg/ha with a N:S ratio of 5:1and further increase in levels of fertilizers did not influence the yield parameters. However, all the treatments except T1 (7.32 t/ha) were on par with T9 with respect to grain and straw yield. This shows that nitrogen and sulphur application @ 150:30 kg/ha with a N: S ratio of 5:1 seems to be the balanced dose for maize resulting in higher yield parameters A significant increase in straw yield of maize due to sulphur application was also reported by Anderson et al (1984) and Singh and Dubey (1991) (Table 4; Table 5).
Table 4 Effect of different levels and ratios of nitrogen and sulphur on yield and yield components of maize
Table 5 Effect of different levels and ratios of nitrogen and sulphur on grain and stover yield of maize
The treatment T9 which received N and S fertilizers @ 150:30 with a N: S ratio of 5:1 was found superior in terms of growth, yield and quality of maize Hence, the application S @ 30 kg ha-1 along RDF with (150:75:37.5 kg N: P2O5: K2O ha-1) is beneficial to maize.
Materials and Methods
A field experiment was conducted during kharif 2011 on a Vertisol in the farmer’s field at Shirol village in Nargund taluk of Gadag district in Malaprabha command area, which is situated in the Northern dry zone (Zone-III) of Karnataka to study the effect of levels and ratios of nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers on growth, yield and quality of maize under irrigation.. The experiment soil was clay in texture with alkaline in pH (8.26) , low in EC (0.38 dS/m), medium in organic carbon (5.40 g/kg), low in available nitrogen (223.0 kg/ha), medium in available P2O5 (36.6 kg/ha), high in available K2O (720.0 kg/ha) and low in available sulphur (8.25 kg/ha). The soil had DTPA extractable Zn (0.42 mg/kg) and Fe (4.18 mg/kg) below their critical limits and available Mn (2.40 mg/kg) and Cu (0.64 mg/kg) were above the critical limit. The experiment was conducted with RCBD design with replicated thrice as fourteen treatments.
Maize variety Super- 900 M was sown on a well prepared seed bed. Full dose of recommended phosphorus, potash, sulfur (Factomphos) and half dose of N was applied at time of sowing while remaining half of N was applied after first irrigation. The growths and yield parameters were recorded at different stages (30 DAS, 60 DAS and 90 DAS) of crop growth. The crop was harvested treatment wise at maturity and grain yield per hectare was computed.
Akmal Pasha, 2005, Effect of split application of nitrogen and sulphur fertilization on growth, yield and quality of wheat. M. Sc. (Agri.) Thesis, Univ. Agric. Sci., Dharwad (India)
Anonymous, 2011, Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics, FAO: 12-30.
Brunold C. and Suter M., 1984, Regulation of sulphate assimilation by nitrogen nutrition in the duckweed (Lemna minor. L), Plant Physiol., 76: 579-583
Halikatti S.I., 1980, Effect of levels, time and method of nitrogen application on growth and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum) under irrigation, M. Sc. (Agri.) Thesis,Univ. Agric. Sci., Dharwad
Kochar R.K., Arora B.R. and Nayyar V.K., 1990, Effect of sulphur and zinc application on maize crop, J. Indian Soc. Soil Sci., 38: 339-341
Likkineni K.C., and Abrol Y.P., 1994, Sulfur requirement of crop plants: Physiological Analysis. Fert. News Lett., 39: 11-18
Mahmood T., 1994, Impact of water and nutrient management on growth, yield and quality of maize (Zea mays L.), Ph. D. Thesis, Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
Randhawa P.S. and Arora C.L., 2000, Phosphorus-sulfur interaction effects on dry matter yield and nutrient uptake by wheat, J. Indian Soc. Soil Sci., 48(3), 536-540
Sadasivam S., and Manickam A., 1992, Biochemical Methods for Agricultural Sciences, Wiley Eastern Ltd. New Delhi, pp. 46-47
Singh P.S. and Dubey S.P., 1991, Direct residual and cumulative effects of FYM and NPK application on field and nutrient uptake in wheat, J. Indian Soc. Soil Sci., 35: 745-747