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Journal of Biological Sciences

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 9  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 326 - 332

Effect of Rhizobia Inoculation, Farm Yard Manure and Nitrogen Fertilizer on Nodulation and Yield of Food Grain Legumes

P.E. Otieno, J.W. Muthomi, G.N. Chemining`wa and J.H. Nderitu

Abstract

Field experiments were conducted to investigate the response of grain legumes to rhizobia inoculation, farmyard manure and inorganic fertilizer nitrogen. The grain legumes were common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. var GLP 2), lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.), green gram (Vigna radiate L.) and lablab (Lablab purpureus L.). The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with split plot arrangement and replicated thrice. Parameters determined were the number of nodules and nodule dry weight per plant, seed yield and yield components. Nitrogen fertilizer application significantly reduced the number of nodules in most of the legume species. In contrast, rhizobia inoculation increased number of nodules and nodule dry matter in most species but this was not translated into increase in plant growth or grain yield. Application of manure improved nodulation and grain yield only in the short rains. However, fertilizer application significantly increased dry matter in both seasons and total grain yield during short rains. The study indicated that the effect of rhizobia inoculation, farmyard manure and nitrogen fertilizer on grain legumes is variable depending on species, parameter being measured and other environmental factors.

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