Maize yields Response to application of organic and inorganic input under on-station and on-farm experiments in Central Kenya
Mugwe, J. N.
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This study investigated the feasibility of using sole organics or a combination of organics with inorganic fertilizer to improve maize production in on-station and on-farm experiments in central Kenya. In the on-station experiment, combined application of Calliandra calothyrsus, Leucaena trichandra and Tithonia diversifolia at 30 kgNha−1 plus inorganic fertilizer (30 kgNha−1) consistently gave significantly higher maize grain yields than the recommended rate of inorganic fertilizer (60 kgNha−1). Sole application of calliandra, leucaena and tithonia also increased maize yields more than the recommended rate of inorganic fertilizer. In the on-farm experiment, calliandra, leucaena, tithonia and cattle manure either alone or combined with inorganic fertilizer increased maize yields with a similar magnitude to that of inorganic fertilizer. These organic resources could therefore be used to supplement inorganic fertilizer as a whole or in part. There was a yield gap between on-station and on-farm trials with on-station yields having, on average, 65% greater yields than the on-farm yields. There is therefore potential for increasing yields at the farm level by closing the yield gap.