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International Journal of Agricultural and Applied Sciences, December 2022, 3(2): 75-85


ISSN: 2582-8053



Research Article


Effect of Combined Application of Vermicompost and NPS Fertilizer Rates on Growth, Yield and Yield Components of Maize (Zea mays L.) at Toke Kutaye District, Ethiopia


Tesfaye Wakgari

Ambo University Department of Natural Resource Management, Ambo, Ethiopia

Corresponding author e-mail: wagarit06@gmail.com

(Received: 01/05/2022; Revised: 05/10/2022; Accepted: 13/11/2022)



Maize is one of the major and important cereal crops in Western Shewa Zone, particularly, in the Toke Kutaye district. However, the yield of the crop is low mainly due to the low fertility status of the soils. Integrated use of vermicompost and NPS fertilizers is indispensable to improve this condition of the soil. In this context, a study was conducted in 2019/2020 to assess the effect of the combined use of vermicompost and NPS fertilizer on yield and yield components of maize. To achieve this objective field experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design and replicated three times. The results of this study revealed that the current scenarios of maize production in Toke Kutaye district call for appropriate ways of adding nutrients to the soil to obtain optimum maize productivity. In response to this, the combined application of different rates of vermicompost and NPS fertilizer to soil significantly affected most parameters used for this investigation such as plant height, leaf number, leaf length, leaf area, stand count, ear length, and a number of ears per plant, thousand-grain weight, total above-ground dry biomass and grain yield of maize. Moreover, the combined form of NPS blended fertilizer and vermicompost was applied and the result revealed that the sole application of recommended NPS fertilizer and vermicompost increased maize yield by 52.27 and 55.72% over control treatments, respectively. Besides this, the combined use of vermicompost and NPS fertilizer by the rating of half of the recommended rate of both fertilizers increased maize yield by 60.05% over the control treatment. This indicates that the best option for soil fertility management is integrated soil fertility management that involves the combined use of vermicompost and NPS fertilizers as nutrient sources than the strategy of using organic or inorganic amendments alone. Then, it could be concluded that the use of blended NPS fertilizer at 50 kg ha-1with supplemental vermicompost at 5 t ha-1 to Jibat variety is the realistic approach to address the problem of low productivity of maize in the study area and other similar agroecology. Based on the findings and conclusions of this study it can be recommended that farmers in the study area should, therefore, be advised to use this variety and combined use of vermicompost and NPS fertilizer at a rate of 5 t ha-1 VC +50 kg ha-1 NPS for sustainable maize crop production tentatively. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to recommend agronomical optimum and to measure the long-term effects of the integrated soil fertility management techniques in more seasons, soil types and crop varieties before giving a conclusive recommendation.

Keywords: Grain yield; NPS fertilizer; Soil fertility; Vermicompost.