Effect of integrated fertilizer application on soil properties and tef (Eragrostis tef [Zucc] Trotter) yield on Vertisols of Northwestern Ethiopia

Workineh Ejigu*, Yihenew G. Selassie, Eyasu Elias, Eric Smaling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Low soil fertility has become a serious constraint affecting agricultural productivity and food security in North-western Ethiopia. A field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of integrated use of compost and mineral fertilizer on soil properties and tef (Eragrostis tef [Zucc.] Trotter) yields for two years during 2018 and 2019 cropping seasons. The field experiment was arranged in a factorial combination of three rates of Urea/NPSB (0/0, 62.5/75 and 125/150 kg ha−1) and three rates of compost (0, 5 and 10 t ha−1) laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. Results showed that combined use of compost and mineral fertilizer significantly (p < 0.05) increased soil pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (AP), available sulfur (AS) and exchangeable bases but significantly (p < 0.05) decreased soil bulk density (SBD) compared to sole mineral fertilizer application and the control. Furthermore, application of 10 t ha−1 compost combined with 125/150 kg ha−1 Urea/NPSB gave the highest tef dry biomass (8.81 t ha−1) and grain yield (2.40 t ha−1). The economic analysis results also revealed that the highest net benefit (45,761 Birr ha−1) was achieved from the same treatment which was considerably greater than the highest rate of sole mineral fertilizer (37,228.5 Birr ha−1), the highest rate of sole compost (6656 Birr ha−1) and the control (5391 Birr ha−1). We concluded that integrated fertilizer application enhances soil fertility, crop yields and generates better income over individual addition of fertilizers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-774
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition
Volume45
Issue number5
Early online date8 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • compost
  • crop yield
  • mineral fertilizer
  • net benefit
  • soil fertility

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