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The contribution of economic analysis in developing promising research agendas: a maize nitrogen x phosphorus trial in Zimbabwe

Author: Mataruka, D.F.
Author: Makombe, G.
Author: Low, A.R.C.
Year: 1990
ISSN: ISSN: 0187-828X
Abstract: Maize accounts for 70% of Zimbabwe's cereal growing area. Its productivity, particularly in the communal areas, is limited by both soil and moisture constraints. Most soils in communal areas are coarse-textured sands derived from granite. They are inherently deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus (Grant 1981; Mashiringwani 1983), and have a poor water retention capacity. The majority of these areas are situated in marginal rainfall zones and do not have irrigation facilities, making the application of large quantities of fertilizer risky and uneconomical. A maize fertilizer x plant population on-farm trial conducted by the Agronomy Institute at 19 sites showed that applying more than 50% of the recommended fertilizer--in most cases 350 kg Compound Z 8:14:7/ha and 400 kg ammonium nitrate/ha-was uneconomical (Whingwiri 8t af. 1987; Mataruka 8t af. 1987). However, maize response to nitrogen and phosphorus separately could not be assessed by using compound fertilizers. To establish economically optimum levels for both nitrogen and phosphorus, researchers should use trials with straight fertilizers. This paper discusses results from two seasons of an on-farm trial being conducted by the Agronomy Institute to determine the effects of nitrogen x phosphorous on maize.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: CIMMYT
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Country focus: Zimbabwe
Region: Southern Africa
Pages: 1-5 pages
Issue: 5
Keywords: Smallholder Farmers
Keywords: Resources
Agrovoc: MAIZE
Journal: Farming Systems Bulletin Eastern and Southern Africa

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This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Maize
    Maize breeding, phytopathology, entomology, physiology, quality, and biotech
  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS
  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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