Moisture Conservation And Nutrient Management Practices On Growth And Yield Of Maize (Zea Mays L.)
Plant nutrients and soil moisture are considered some of the most important factors affecting physiological characters and grain yield of maize. Therefore, a field experiment was conducted at UBKV, Cooch Behar, West Bengal during 2013 and 2014 to study the effects of moisture conservation and nutrient management practices on growth and yield of maize (Zea mays L.). The experiment was laid out in a split –plot design with three replications. Four levels of moisture conservation practices M0: without irrigation and without mulch, M1: irrigation as and when required, M2: dry weed biomass mulch @5.0t ha-1 M3: FYM mulch @ 5.0 t ha-1 were assigned to main plots and four levels of nutrient management N1: 100% RDF 80:40:40 kg ha-1 of N:P2O5: K2O N2:100% RDF + phosphate solubilising bacteria (PSB) + Azotobacter N3:75% RDF+ PSB + Azotobacter + vermicompost (VC) @ 5.0 t ha-1 and N4:50% RDF + PSB + Azotobacter + 50% vermicompost @ 2.5t ha-1 for sub plot. Among the moisture conservation practices, application of irrigation recorded the highest growth, yield attributes, yield and harvest index followed by FYM mulch and dry weed bio-mass mulch. Similarly, N, P and K uptake of maize was recorded highest under irrigation followed by FYM mulch; dry weed bio mass mulch and lowest N, P and K uptake were recorded under without irrigation and mulch. Among the nutrient management practices the highest growth, yield attributes, yield, harvest index and N, P & K uptake were recorded under 75% RDF + PSB + Azotobacter + vermicompost @ 5.0 t ha-1 followed by 100% RDF + PSB+ Azotobacter & 100% RDF and lowest were recorded under 50% RDF + PSB + Azotobacter + 50% vermicompost 2.5 t ha-1 . Likewise, maximum benefits were recorded under 75% RDF + PSB+ Azotobacter + vermicompost @ 5.0 t ha-1 and lowest net return and return per rupee invested were recorded under 50% RDF + PSB + Azotobacter + 50% vermicompost 2.5 t ha-1. From this study, maize grown with irrigation and supplied with 75% RDF + PSB + Azotobacter + vermicompost @ 5.0 t ha-1 is found the best for obtaining overall gain on a sustainable basis.