Phosphorus Influence on Plant Tissue Nitrogen Contents and Yield Attributes of Finger Millet Varieties in Semi-arid Region of Kenya uri icon


  • The experiment was conducted with the aim of evaluating the effect of differential levels of P on finger millet accumulation of N and yield components. On-station experiments were conducted at the KALRO-Kiboko crops research station in Makueni County during the short and long rains of 2014 and 2015 respectively. There were 4 levels of P (0, 12.5, 25 and 37.5 kg ha-1 P2O5) and three varieties (U-15, P-224 and Ekalakala). Ekalakala was the local check while 0 kg/ha P2O5 was the control. The trial was laid out in a randomized complete block design and fitted in factorial arrangement with three replicates given a total of 36 plots. Soil sampling was at a depth of 0-30 cm on all the plots and analytical results showed moderately available P but very low N, organic carbon and zinc. Significant differences (P=.05) were observed between the phosphate levels on the nitrogen contents in plant parts with the control showing the lowest N accumulation of 4.95% and 4.90% for the short and long rains respectively while the 25 kg ha-1 P2O5 rate had the highest with 5.66% in the short rains and 5.14% in the long rains. The stem contained the highest nitrogen content while the roots had the lowest. Phosphate rates did not have significant influence on the yield components except the finger width while the varieties varied significantly (P=.05) on the productive tillers, panicle number, grains per spikelet and the harvest index. Variety U-15 had the highest yield for both seasons with a maximum of 3410 kg ha-1 for the short rains. The newly released variety (U-15) responded well to moderate P supplemented at 25 kg ha-1 P2O5 thus can efficiently utilize N in soils with low N like in Makueni and is highly recommended. The optimal P for the yield and N accumulation was 25 kg ha-1 P2O5 and beyond this point the P would not be translated to profitable yield but a loss to the farmer in the short run

publication date

  • 2016