Effect of lime on selected soil chemical properties, maize (Zea mays L.) yield and determination of rate and method of its application in Northwestern Ethiopia

Heliyon. 2021 Dec 23;8(1):e08657. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e08657. eCollection 2022 Jan.

ABSTRACT

Soil acidity is the major soil chemical constraint that limits agricultural productivity in the highlands of Ethiopia receiving high rainfall. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of different lime rates determined through different lime rate determination methods on selected soil chemical properties and yield of maize (Zea mays L.) on acidic Nitisols of Mecha district, Amhara Region, Ethiopia. The experiment had 10 treatments (0, 0.06, 0.12, 0.18, 1, 2, 3.5, 4, 7 and 14 tons ha-1 lime) that were calculated by three lime rate determination methods and applied through three lime application methods (spot, drill and broadcast). The experiment was arranged in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. N at the rate of 180 kg ha-1 and P at the rate of138 P2O5 kg ha-1 were applied to all plots. A full dose of P and lime as a treatment were applied at planting; whereas N was applied in split, 1/2 at planting and 1/2 at knee height stage. One composite soil sample before planting from experimental site and again one composite sample from each experimental unit were taken after harvest to analyze soil chemical parameters following appropriate laboratory procedure. Liming showed a positive significant difference on pH-H2O, pH-buffer, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and exchangeable bases but it had an inverse and significant effect on exchangeable acidity (EA). However, it didn’t show any significant difference on soil C and N. Grain and above-ground biomass of maize yields had significant differences among treatments. The highest grain and biomass yields (7719 and 18180.6 kg ha-1, respectively) were obtained from application of broad cast method while the lowest (6479 and 15004.6 kg ha-1, respectively) were obtained from control treatment. Drill lime application method provided better efficiency with over 200% cost reduction advantage compared to the broadcast method to ameliorate the same level of acidity. Application of 3.5 tons ha-1 lime in the drilling method is recommendable to ameliorate soil acidity. However, from an economic point of view, application of 0.12 tons ha-1 lime applied in the micro-dosing method is more profitable due to low variable cost.

PMID:35028445 | PMC:PMC8741471 | DOI:10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e08657

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