ISSN 1556-6757












Volume 1, Issue 1, 2009


Soil Water and Nitrogen Interaction Effects on Maize (Zea mays L.) Grown on a Vertisol
Amos Kojo Quaye, Kofi Budu Laryea, Stephen Abeney-Mickson


This study examines the interaction effects of six moisture regimes and three nitrogen rates on dry matter production and nitrogen uptake by maize grown in a Vertisol from the Accra Plains of Ghana. A local maize variety (Obaatanpa) was grown in pots measuring 18 cm x 15 cm (inner diameter x high) and containing 3.6 kg of air dry soil. The pots were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. The Nitrogen rates were 0 kg N ha-1, 40 kg N ha-1 and 80 kg N ha-1. The moisture regimes were 30, 40, 50, 60, 80 and 100% of the field capacity (FC) of the soil. The interaction of 80 kg N ha-1 with 60%, 80% and 100% FC significantly increased (p < 0.01) biomass yield and nitrogen uptake. At moisture regimes 80% and 100% FC, evapotranspiration from plants in the 80 kg N ha-1 was significantly greater (p
< 0.01) than those in the 0 kg N ha-1 or 40 kg N ha-1. Maize response to the applied nitrogen was influenced by availability of water in the soil. It is important therefore that fertilizer application to maize on Vertisols be done when soil water content is close to field capacity. Full Article