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Abstract

EFFECT OF PHOSPHORUS FERTILIZER LEVELS AND PLANT DENSITY ON GROWTH AND YIELD OF FINGER MILLET IN KURIA WEST SUB-COUNTY

Benson Maniaji* and Matinde Thomas Waigoge

ABSTRACT

Finger millet (Eleusinecoracana) is an important crop that contributes greatly to income and food security of the smallholder farmers in rural areas in Africa and Asia. The production of this crop has been declining due to reduced area under cultivation and loss in soil fertility. The objective of this study was to find out the effect of different levels of phosphorus fertilizer and plant density on the performance of finger millet.The experiment was setup with Randomized Complete Block Design with treatments being phosphorus levels of Triple Supper Phosphate (TSP) (0, 25, 50 and 75 Kg/ha) and spacing in centimeters, S1 (30X10), S2 (30X15) and S3 (30X20). The experimental field was divided into 3 by 3 meters and replicated twelve times and three blocks. The experiment was conducted in two seasons, the first season seeding was done 21st November 2014 which is a short season and the second season planting was done on 23rd June 2015 this is a long rain season. Data was collected on growth and performance indicators like plant height, seed weight, length of the heads and number of fertile tillers was determined. Results indicated that plant density and phosphorus levels had significant effects on finger millet seed weight, number of fertile tillers, plant height and percentage lodging. It was found out that spacing and phosphorus levels affect the performance of finger millet in terms of tillering ability, growth and yield. The interaction between spacing and fertilizer levels in season one had a significant effect on finger millet height. The contribution of phosphorus to the size of the head length of finger millet appeared to be higher than that of plant density in both seasons.

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