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Direct Research Journals
Vol.4 (8), pp. 208-213, August 2016
ISSN: 2354-4147

Optimizing NPK Fertilizer and Plant Spacing in Maximizing Yield and Yield Attributes of Maize (Zea mays) in Southern Nigeria
Article Number: DRJA31296947

Original Research Article

William Ubi¹, Godwin Michael Ubi²*, Martina William Ubi³, Thomas Okweche¹ and

Peggy Willie Ojei²

1Department of Science and Technology, National Open University of Nigeria, Calabar Study Centre, Nigeria.

²Department of Genetics and Biotechnology. University of Calabar, Nigeria.

³Cross River Agricultural Development Programme, CRADP,Calabar, Nigeria.

*Corresponding author E-mail:

date Received: June 12, 2016     date Accepted: July 9, 2016     date Published: July 13, 2016


Field experiments were carried out in 2013 and 2014 at the Ministry of Agriculture Research farm, Akpabuyo, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. The experiments comprised of combined treatments of four spacing  (50 x 30; 80 x 30; 50 x 50 and 70 x 40 cm) with four levels of NPK 20-10-10 fertilizer (0, 60, 90 and 120 kg ha-1) laid out in a 4×4 split plot in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), replicated three times. The results showed that the NPK fertilizer significantly increased growth parameters (plant height, leaf area, root length, number of leaves), yield and yield components. The highest yield in maize (193.36 t/ha-1) was obtained from application of NPK 90 kgha-1, and with spacing of 70 × 40 cm. The interaction effect of spacing x fertilizer was significant (p<0.05) in which the application of 90 kg/ha-1 with the spacing of 70 × 40 cm yielded 9.20 t/ha-1, which was significantly (p<0.05) higher than all other treatment combination under similar experimental condition. This seemed to be appropriate for maize production with better economic returns to the farmer in the study area. Highest Leaf Area (LA) 167.5 cm2 and Specific Leaf Area (SLA) 455.0 cm2g where obtained from the spacing of 70 × 40 cm while application of 90 kgha-1 gave the highest LA of 168.6 cm2 and highest SLA of 456 cm2g respectively.  There was 21.1% unit increase in shelling percentage from maize fertilized with 90 kgha-1 NPK fertilizer compared with the application 120 kgha-1.

Key words: Fertilizer, maize, maximum, optimal, plant spacing, yield, yield components.


Manuscript Reviewed by:


Mehdi Karimizarchi
Iranian National Salinity Research Center, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran.

Mohammad Reza Naghavi
Faculty of Agriculture, Payame Noor University, Iran, Plant Breeding (Biometrical Genetics and Proteomics).

Adesina J. M.
Department of Crop, Soil & Pest Management Technology,Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, P. M. B. 1019, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria