The effect of phosphate placement on maize in eastern Kenya
Keywords:Phosphate placement, Alfisols, Maize, Sulphur
AbstractA field study was conducted at three sites on Alfisols in Machakos District, eastern Kenya, to compare the effectiveness of three methods of phosphate fertilizer application (banded, broadcast, and applied in the planting holes). Poor emergence and establishment of maize seedlings were observed from the "in-hole" treatments. Plant heights at the tasselling stage of growth showed large responses to applied P at all sites, with banded and "in-hole" application giving taller plants. At maturity, grain yields were significantly increased by P application at two sites, with banded and "in-hole" applications outyielding the broadcast P treatment. No evidence was found to suggest that application of P to individual planting holes would increase the effectiveness of fertilizer P above that obtained from banding. Evidence of sulphur deficiency, both as visual symptoms and in plant growth, was found at one site.