Effects of groundnut shells on soil properties, growth and yield of maize
Keywords:Groundnut shell, Incorporation Rates, Maize, Organic
The aim of the study was to assess the effects of groundnut shells on soil properties, growth and yield of maize. The study was carried out in Jalingo, Taraba State, North-Eastern Nigeria in July, 2019. Treatments in the study were four doses of groundnut shells (0.0, 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 t ha-1); arranged in a randomized complete block design, replicated four times. Each plot was 2.0 m × 2.0 m with 0.5 m gap between the plots and replicates. Crushed groundnut shells were applied on a dry matter basis at the rates of 0, 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 t ha-1 28 days before planting maize. Seeds were planted on prepared land treated with crushed groundnut shells. Soil properties were determined at harvest, maize growth parameters were determined at 50% flowering and maize yield parameters were determined at maturity. The results showed that groundnut shells application increased soil porosity, water holding capacity, soil pH, organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and total exchangeable bases and decreased soil bulk density to favorable levels. Groundnut shells application also increased plant height, stem girth, number of leaves per plant, leave area, leave area index, cob length, number of seeds per cob, seed weight per plant, hundred (100) seed weight, stover yield, grain yield and harvest index and decreased number of days to 50% tasseling. The result suggests that the 7.5 t ha-1 of groundnut shell application rate be utilized, as a more appropriate and profitable groundnut shell incorporation method in order to achieve better performance of maize plants.