Author(s): Siaka Kroma, Prince E. Norman, Alpha U. Barrie, Sylvia Y. Norman
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of chicken manure on the growth, yield and profitability of maize at the School of Agriculture Experimental Site, Njala University, during 2014 and 2015 cropping seasons. A total of eight treatment combinations comprising two plant densities (26,666 and 53,333 plants.ha-1) and four chicken manure levels (0, 2, 4 and 8 t.ha-1) were established in split plot design with three replicates. Results revealed that plant height, stem diameter, leaf area index (LAI) and chlorophyll content of leaves significantly increased with time and increasing chicken manure (CM) rate. Seed yield and yield attributes of populations one and two significantly increased with increasing CM rates. Application of CM at 2.0 t.ha-1 increased yields by more than 100% in the second and third seasons; and in populations one compared to the control. Findings of the economic analysis revealed that the 2.0 t.ha-1 CM point application is the most profitable maize production system for populations 1 and 2 in the upland and IVS ecologies. Results suggest that optimum application and adequate supply of plant nutrient from chicken manure is important for the success of conservation and sustainable farming systems. Findings in this study could be used as guide for improving nutrient use efficiency of CM in crop management rotation systems and commercial production of the crop.
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