Volume 3 Issue 9
Iren, Otobong B., Udoh, Dominic J. , Asawalam, Damian O. and Osodeke, Victor E.
Comparative effects of different nitrogen sources and rates on soil properties and yield of Amaranthus cruentus
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Abstract: A two-year field trial was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria to evaluate the effects of different organic fertilizer sources and an inorganic fertilizer on the soil properties and yield of Amaranthus cruentus. Sixteen (16) treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications. Four sources of organic fertilizer (cattle, goat, pig and poultry manures) and an inorganic fertilizer source (urea) were evaluated each at three nitrogen (N) rates (30, 60 and 90 kg N/ha). Plots with no fertilizer application served as the control. Data were subjected to analysis of variance and means compared with Turky’s HSD at 5 % level of probability. The pH value of the soil was significantly increased in plots amended with higher rates of organic manure. Higher rates of amendments significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased total N, organic carbon, exchangeable K, Na and base saturation contents of the soil relative to the control plots. Among all the treatments, plots amended with pig manure at 90 kg N/ha had the best soil chemical properties. Amendment of soil with organic manure and urea significantly (P ≤ 0.05) enhanced fresh and dry matter yield of Amaranthus with the highest values of 48.18 t/ha and 7.66 t/ha obtained in plots amended with 90 kg N/ha of pig manure, respectively. It is therefore recommended that pig manure at 90 kg N/ha be used in the cultivation of Amaranthus in Umudike and soil in similar agro ecology.