Research Article

Effect of Nitrogen and Zinc on Growth and Yield of Maize (Zea mays L.)

Jagdeep Singh, Ram Partap, Amritpal Singh, Naresh Kumar and Krity

  • Page No:  179 - 185
  • Published online: 22 Jun 2021
  • DOI : HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.23910/1.2021.2212

  • Abstract
  •  ram7728@gmail.com

The experiment was laid out on the effect of nitrogen and zinc on growth and yield of maize (Zea mays L.) at Research Farm of the Department of Agriculture, Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, India during kharif (July to October) season of 2017. The experiment was laid out in randomized block design three replication with eight treatments. The soil of the experimental field was Gangetic alluvial having clay loam texture with pH 7.5. It was moderately fertile, with available nitrogen (285.24 kg ha-1), available phosphorus (26.15 kg ha-1), available potassium (250.84 kg ha-1) and available zinc (1.42 mg kg-1). The maximum growth parameter viz. plant height (cm), LAI (%), dry matter accumulation (g) and the highest yield attributes and yield  parameters viz., number of cob-1, length of cob (cm), test weight (g), number of grain cob-1, grain yield (q ha-1), stover yield (q ha-1), biological yield (q ha-1) and  harvest index (%) was recorded  at 30, 60, 90 DAS and at harvest stage with the application of nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 which was at par with the treatments namely; nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1 and nitrogen @150 kg ha-1. All the treatments significantly influenced the growth and yield attributes as compared to control. The maximum net returns (Rs. 89977 ha-1) and benefit:cost ratio (1.58) has been recorded with application of nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1.

Keywords :   Maize, nitrogen, zinc, growth, yield, economics

  • Introduction

    Maize (zea mays L.) has been an important cereal crop owing to its highest production potential and adaptability to wide range of environment hence called as ‘Queen of Cereals’. In India, maize is placed in 3rd position among the cereals in terms of its importance, after rice and wheat (Mahapatra et al., 2018, Anonymous, 2018 and Suganya et al., 2020). In India, area, production and productivity of maize is 9.76 mha, 26.14 mt and 26.80 kg ha-1 respectively (Anonymous, 2017a). Maize crop occupied 116 thousand hectares, with a production of 445 thousand tonnes and the average yield (38.35 q ha-1) was in the Punjab State during 2016-17 (Anonymous, 2017b). Maize is also an important not only because of its great adaptability to widely varying conditions but also because of its high responsiveness to better management practices particularly irrigation and fertilizers. Maize is mainly grown in kharif season and to some extent, in winter and spring seasons in Punjab. Introduction of rice -wheat system in Punjab has also led to some severe problems among which depleting water table and deteriorating soil health are major ones. So, there is a need to interchange the high water requiring rice crop with some low water requiring crop like maize (Kaur and Vashist, 2016).

    Maize is being used as staple food in many countries. With respect to the nutritive values, 100 g of maize are found to be rich in 89.1% moisture, 1.9 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 0.06 g ash, 8.2 mg carbohydrate, 28 mg calcium, 86 mg phosphorus and 11 mg ascorbic acid (Kumar et al., 2018). It shares a major contribution in farmer’s economy of developing countries (Tagne et al., 2008). Apart from providing the staple diet for the population, maize is also an important crop in industrial and livestock production in the country (Anonymous, 2012). Moreover, its use as food and fodder, maize is now gaining importance on account of its potential uses in manufacturing of starch, resins, syrups, ethanol, etc. (Ayyar and Appavoo, 2016).

    Nitrogen is a major fertilizer which is constituent of protein and protoplasm of chlorophyll and enzymes. Nitrogen is the essential constituent of chlorophyll, protoplasm and enzymes. (Yeshiwas, 2017 and Kaur et al., 2020). Higher nitrogen levels are reported to increase plant height, stem thickness, leaf area, leaf area index, dry matter accumulation; net assimilates ratio and yield per hectares (Cheema et al., 2010). In maize the amount of maize grain produced per unit of fertilizer N applied depends upon the uptake from fertilizer and soil N and its utilization in producing grains. As such, nitrogen being the most limiting nutrient its supply along with other nutrients becomes a matter of paramount concern to maintain fertility of the soils for sustained high crop production (Scharf et al. 2002). Maize grain yield potential is twice as high as compared to other cereal crops (Potarzycki and Grzebisz, 2009). Nitrogen management in maize production system is one of the main concerns since it is the most important and primary nutrient for growth and development of the crop (Blumenthal et al., 2008).

    Zinc is one of the essential micronutrient elements and is required by crop plants in very small amounts. It plays a significant role in various enzymatic and physiological activities and performs many catalytic functions in plant system besides transformation of carbohydrates, chlorophyll and protein synthesis (Singh, 2009). Zinc is an essential element for plants, animals and human beings. Its nutritive value is similar to those of non-leguminous vegetables such as cauliflower, tomato, cucumber and cabbage (Palai et al., 2017). Zinc element is essential for normal, healthy growth and reproduction of plants. The interaction resulting from the effects of N application helps to promote plant growth and it is possible to find positive interactions between increasing levels of Zn and N fertilizers (Hafeez et al., 2013). Maize being a high nutrient mining crop it needs a higher amount of NPK for its economic production (Adhikari et al., 2021). Considering the above facts, the present experiment was planned and undertaken with the objective to study the effect of Nitrogen and Zinc on growth, yield and compute the economic feasibility of maize.


  • Materials and Methods

    A field experiment was conducted at Research Farm, Department of Agriculture, Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib (Punjab), India during July–November month of 2017. The research farm lies between 76o 22’ and 76o 46’ longitude and 30o 36’ and 30o 39’ latitude. The total rainfall received during crop-growing season of 2017 was 256.10 mm. The soil of the experimental field was clay loam in texture, neutral to slightly alkaline in reaction and medium in organic carbon, available N, K, P and high in Zn. The experiment laid out in randomized block design with three replicates. the total treatment combinations were eight. the treatments details are as treatment1- control, treatment 2- zinc @15 kg ha-1, treatment 3- zinc @ 30 kg ha-1, treatment 4- nitrogen @80 kg ha-1, treatment 5- nitrogen @80 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1, treatment 6- nitrogen @80 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1, treatment 7- nitrogen @120 kg ha-1,treatment 8- nitrogen @120 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1, treatment9- nitrogen @120 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1, treatment 10- nitrogen @150 kg ha-1, treatment 11- nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1, treatment 12- nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1.  The field was ploughed and given pre-sowing irritation. After the preparatory tillage, the field was divided into 36 different plots of 3×3 m2 size. The pretreated seed of variety Pioner-3401 was sown by the dibbling method in between the rows by using maize seed at the rate of 8 kg ha-1 with a spacing of 45×20 cm2 on 20 July, 2017. RDF (Recommended dose of fertilizer) of P and K for Maize is 60, 40 kg ha-1. Full of dose P2O5, K2O, and Zn as basal dose in form of ZnSo4 and remaining dose of nitrogen was applied as urea in 1/3 was applied as topdressing in two splits at knee high stage and at pre-tasseling stage. The field was kept free from weeds by manual hoeing. The plant protection measures and irrigations whenever required were provided in the same manner for all the treatments. Observations were recorded from selected plants with different characters of growth attributes viz., plant height (cm), dry matter accumulation (g plant-1), leaf area index and yield attributes viz., number of cob plant-1, length of cob (cm), test weight (g), number of grain cob-1,  grain yield (q ha-1), stover yield (q ha-1), biological yield (q ha-1) and harvest index (%). Regular biometric observations were recorded at periodic intervals of 30, 60, and 90 days after sowing and at the harvest stage. Yield attributes parameters were recorded just before harvesting the crop. The crop was harvested on 30 October 2017 when about 80% of the cobs turned yellowish and grains became hard and then tied in the labeled bundles. The sun dried weight of bundles was recorded. The cobs were removed from the plants, dried and threshed with hand operated maize sheller. Thus grain yield of each plot was recorded. Economic analysis was carried out by calculating the amount of material needed for one hectare, calculating annual cost of production by considering the present market rate, depreciation, life of the material, and annual interest. The raw data were subjected to appropriate statistical procedure as suggested by Gomez and Gomez (1984).


  • Results and Discussion

    3.1.  Growth attributes

    The observations on plant height of maize recorded at 30, 60, 90 DAS and at harvest stage were affected by different treatments of nitrogen and zinc are presented in Table 1.


    At 30, 60, 90 DAS and at harvest the maximum plant height was recorded with the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 which was found at par with the treatments namely; nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1 followed by the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1 and nitrogen @120 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 it was significantly superior over rest of the treatments. The maximum plant height was recorded at harvest stage with the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 was noted 217.1 cm. The enhanced vegetative growth in terms of plant height due to nitrogen application was reported by Kumar et al. (2002), Patel et al. (2006), Ravi et al. (2012), Ali et al. (2013) and Imran et al. (2015). Jangir et al. (2015) reported that the significant response to zinc in terms of improvement in  plant height is further supported by the fact that soil of the experimental field was low in zinc status and its early supply corrected the deficiency and considerably improved the crop growth. The maximum dry weight accumulation have been recorded 27.6, 104.6, 216.0 and 240.9 gm at 30, 60, 90 DAS and harvesting stage respectively under the application of with the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 Followed by the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1 and the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1. Ghodpage et al. (2008) reported that the increase in yield could be attributed to the proper supply of Zn up to harvesting stages in soil and which might have led to increased photosynthetic activity for longer period and their beneficial effect on metabolism of plants thereby  finally increased dry-matter accumulation. The maximum leaf area index was recorded at 30, 60 and 90 DAS with the nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 which were found at par with the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1 and the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1. Similar findings were also obtained by Amanullah et al. (2014), who reported that the increase in growth and growth attributes with respect to increased nitrogen and zinc application rate indicates maximum vegetative growth of plant under higher nitrogen availability. Arshewar et al. (2018), observed that the significantly increase the growth attributes with the increase level of nitrogen and zinc. Wasaya et al. (2017), stated that application of zinc gave significant increase in growth parameters such as plant height and leaf area index in maize. Assefa and Mekonnen (2019) showed that the plant height, Leaf area index (LAI) and dry matter accumulation was significantly affected by level of nitrogen application. Similarly result founded by Rasheed et al. (2004) and Inamullah et al. (2011). Panneerselvam and Palaniyandi (2014) was also noted the favorable effect of plant height and other growth attributes may be ascribed to its stimulatory effect on most of the physiological and metabolic processes of plant.

    3.2. Yield attributes

    Yield attributing characters like number of cobs plant-1, length of cobs, number of grain cob-1, and test weight, grain yield (q ha-1), stover yield (q ha-1), biological yield (q ha-1), and harvest index (%) showed positive correlation with yield. The increase in the value of yield attributes could be attributed to the increase in plant dry matter. The data from the Table 2 revealed with the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 shows the maximum number of cobs plant-1 followed by the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1. While the lowest number of cobs plant-1 found under control treatment among all the applied treatments.


    However, treatments of nitrogen and zinc were non-significant to each other. Prodhan et al. (2007), who found the higher cob yield realization with application of higher nitrogen, could be ascribed to its profound influence on vegetative and reproductive growth of the crop. Kumar et al. (2018) observed that the application of increasing doses of Zn increases the yields of maize cob. The maximum length of cobs was recorded in the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 which was first at par with the nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @ 15 kg ha-1 and second at par with nitrogen @150 kg ha-1 and significantly superior rest of the treatments. The minimum length of cobs was showed by under control treatments. Thakur and Sharma (2009) observed that the maximum cob length with application of nitrogen @200 kg ha-1 as compared to nitrogen @100 kg ha-1. Similarly Ahmad et al. (2018) also reported a positive correlation between the level of Nitrogen and length of cob. The maximum test weight recorded with nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 gave the highest test weight which was at par with nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1, nitrogen @150 kg ha-1 and nitrogen @ 120 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 recorded significantly superior over rest of treatments. However, all the other treatments recorded higher test weight better than untreated control. Application of nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @ 30 kg ha-1 gave the highest number of grain cob-1 which was at par with the nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @15 kg ha-1 and nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1, it recorded significantly superior over rest of treatments. Ehsanullah et al. (2015) noted that the increase in number of grains cob-1 was significantly enhanced by the application of Zn. Pandey et al. (2010) observed the optimum grains cob-1 was observed with application of nitrogen @120 kg ha-1 than that of with nitrogen @60 kg ha-1 and nitrogen @ 90 kg ha-1 in baby corn. A faster growth under influence of higher level of nitrogen fertilization might have played a significant role in reducing competition for photosynthates and nutrients with other plants resulting in healthy plants. Sandya et al. (2016) who noted the indicating significantly higher value of yield attributes with the higher level of nitrogen. The increased availability of photosynthates might have enhanced number of flowers and their fertilization resulting in higher number of yield attributes. Wasaya et al. (2017) observed significant increase in yield parameters and yield of maize with the application of zinc.

    The maximum grain yield was recorded with the application of nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @ 30 kg ha-1 and it was found at par with the nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @ 15 kg ha-1 and nitrogen @150 kg ha-1. All these might have cumulatively produced higher grain yield under the higher level of nitrogen. Singh et al. (2010) reported that the application of N through fertilizer alone recorded significantly higher yield over 50% fertilizer N+50% N through FYM. The results are also supported by those of Asif et al. (2013), who reported the positive effect of combined use of nitrogen and zinc on yield and yield contributing parameters. Matusso and Materusse (2016), reported that the yield characters and grain yield increased significantly with increase in nitrogen level. Ruffo et al. (2016) documented that application of zinc at higher level gave higher yield than control treatment in maize. Adhikari et al. (2021) reported that the different levels of nitrogen had a significant effect on grain yield. The highest stover yield, biological yield and maximum harvest index was recorded under the application of nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @ 30 kg ha-1 and it was found at par with the nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @ 15 kg ha-1 and nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1. Chauhan et al. (2014) reported that the interaction effect of nitrogen and zinc was significant for grain and stover yield. All the levels of zinc increased the grain yield significantly at each level of nitrogen and vice versa. Arya and Singh (2000), who found the grain yield and biological yield increased owing to zinc application which takes part in metabolism of plant as an activator of several enzymes and in turn may directly or indirectly affect the synthesis of carbohydrate and protein.

    3.3. Economics

    Data on economics of various nitrogen and zinc treatments was presented in Table 3 revealed that the plot treated with application of the nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @ 30 kg ha-1 gave the maximum net returns and maximum benefit: cost ratio followed bythenitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc 15 @ kg ha-1. Application of the nitrogen @ 150 kg ha-1++zinc @ 30 kg ha-1 gave maximum net return and maximum benefit: cost ratio was 1.58. Swati (2014) reported that the application of nitrogen and zinc readily and more nutrients available to crop which result in increased the growth and yield attributes of crop which ultimately increase the productivity of crop. High grain and Stubble yield results in high gross income. Pandey et al. (2010) reported that the application of nitrogen @120 kg ha-1 gave significantly higher yield (21.9 and 7.9) and more net return compared with nitrogen @60 and @90 kg ha-1 respectively. Benefit: cost ratio was also the highest nitrogen @120 kg ha-1. Different nitrogen schedules also influenced the maize yield, yield attributes and economic returns. Sandya et al. (2016) noted that the enhancement in nitrogen application increased the gross, net returns and B:C ratio. All the treatments significantly influenced the growth, yield attributes, yield, gross return, net return and B:C ratio as compared to control. So the higher B: C was obtained in these treatments due to higher yield obtained over control which in turn increased the net returns.


  • Conclusion

    The integrated application of nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1 give maximum growth, yield attributes and yield of maize at 30, 60, 90 DAS, and at harvest stage. The maximum net returns (89977 Rs. ha-1) and benefit: cost ratio (1.58) has been recorded with application of nitrogen @150 kg ha-1++zinc @30 kg ha-1. Results showed that increased nitrogen doses favorably affected the yield attributes, yield and monetary returns.


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Cite

1.
Singh J, Partap R, Singh A, Kumar N, Krity . Effect of Nitrogen and Zinc on Growth and Yield of Maize (Zea mays L.) IJBSM [Internet]. 22Jun.2021[cited 8Feb.2022];12(1):179-185. Available from: http://www.pphouse.org/ijbsm-article-details.php?article=1473

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