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Journal of Agronomy
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 124 - 130

Response of Sorghum to Nitrogen Fertilizer and Plant Density in the Guinea Savanna Zone

S.S.J. Buah and S. Mwinkaara    

Abstract: Field experiments were conducted in 2007 and 2008 on sandy loam soil in Guinea savanna of Ghana to evaluate sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) response to plant density and Nitrogen (N) fertilizer. A randomized complete block design, arranged in a split-plot was used with three replications. Four N levels (0, 40, 80 and 120 kg ha-1) and plant densities (53300, 88800, 66600 and 133300 plants ha-1) were assigned to subplots and main plots, respectively. Plant density and N levels showed no significant interactions for any parameter. Further, plant density had minimal effect on grain yield and yield components. However, grain yield had a quadratic response to N levels. Across years, application of 40, 80 and 120 kg N ha-1 resulted in yield increases of 39, 43 and 45% over farmers’ practice (0 kg N ha-1), respectively. Marginal Rate of Return (MRR) to 40 kg N ha-1 over the years was 281%, but negative to 80 and 120 kg N ha-1. Increasing N level beyond 40 kg ha-1 did not result in corresponding increase in yield, net benefit nor N use efficiency to merit the extra production cost that may be incurred. From the study, application of 40 kg N ha-1 appeared adequate for maximizing sorghum yields, regardless of plant density.

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