Vincent Aduramigba-Modupe, John Idowu:
Tillage and Fertiliser Effects on Sole Maize Cropping in a Degraded Nigerian Alfisol


1Obafemi Awolowo University, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Land and Water Management, Nigeria
2Cornell University, Crop and Soil Sciences, United States of America

The choice of appropriate tillage system is crucial for sustainable farming in tropical ecosystems. With high levels of soil erosion and nutrient leaching in the tropics, reducing tillage and good fertiliser management becomes an attractive option to consider for environmental conservation. A field study on a degraded alfisol in Ibadan (southwestern Nigeria), was conducted to determine the effects of four tillage systems (TS): (plow + harrow, plow, chisel + harrow and chisel) and three fertiliser NPK 15:15:15 rates: (0, 40 and 80kg ha-1) on maize grain and stover yields. Significant treatment effects were found in root length, grain yield and hundred seed weight. Maize under plow + harrow TS had the highest mean root length (23.1cm), which was 38% and 28% significantly higher than chiseling and chiseling + harrowing. Root length decreased with increasing fertiliser rates in all systems (except chisel + harrow). Grain yield significantly increased only with increasing fertiliser rates. A grain yield of 1.4 t ha-1 was obtained when 0 kg NPK ha-1 was combined with plow + harrow TS. Plow alone had grain yields of 1.9 and 2.0 t ha-1 with 40 and 80kg NPK kg ha-1 fertiliser rates, respectivily. These grain yields were not significantly different from those under plow + harrow TS at the same fertiliser rates. Only hundred seed weight significantly responded to TS by fertiliser interactions. From the results, plowing TS when combined with 40 kg NPK ha-1 was sufficient for maize production on degraded alfisols

Keywords: Alfisol, degraded, fertiliser, maize, tillage


Contact Address: Vincent Aduramigba-Modupe, Obafemi Awolowo University, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Land and Water ManagementMoor Plantation Pmb 5029, 2000001 Ibadan, Nigeria, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, November 2007