Effects of filter cake on soil mineral nutrients andmaize (Zea mays l.) agronomy. (141)


Filter cake
nutrient concentration
agronomic characteristics
maize yield
soil amendments.

How to Cite

Effects of filter cake on soil mineral nutrients andmaize (Zea mays l.) agronomy. (141). (2012). Tropical Agriculture, 89(3). https://journals.sta.uwi.edu/ojs/index.php/ta/article/view/986


Filter cake is one of the waste products from sugar mills; it is rarely used in maize production. Its potential as a soil amendment in maize production was investigated in the Middleveld ecological zone of Swaziland. Four levels of filter cake (0 kg ha-1; 10,000 kg ha-1; 20,000 kg ha-1; 40,000 kg ha-1) and 400 kg ha-1 of a compound fertilizer were studied using a randomized complete block design, replicated four times. Results showed that filter cake at 40,000 kg ha-1 significantly (P < 0.05) increased soil organic matter. Phosphorus level in 40,000 kg ha-1 of filter cake was 31.5 mg kg-1 greater than the commercial fertilizer treatment. There was a non-significant decrease in soil acidity (from pH 6.50, without filter cake, to 6.60 at 40,000 kg ha-1 filter cake). Except for Cu and B, other micronutrient concentrations showed significant (P < 0.05) increases with filter cake. Filter cake significantly (P < 0.05) increased maize yield from 3,731.8 kg ha-1 without filter cake, to 5,253.6 kg ha-1 with 40,000 kg ha-1 of filter cake. Yield with fertilizer (5,045.9 kg ha-1) was non-significantly lower (by 3.95%) than yield from the highest filter cake level. Application of filter cake at the rate of 40,000 kg ha-1 is recommended for maize. It is suggested that a long-term study be conducted to better understand the benefits of filter cake in relation to organic matter and mineral concentrations.