Frank O. Oroka, Mulching Effects and Nitrogen Application on the Performance of Zea mays L: Crop Growth and Nutrient Accumulation, ILNS Volume 51, International Letters of Natural Sciences (Volume 51)
    Maize is an agronomic cereal species that is sensitive to nutrient applications, especially nitrogen. Field experiments were conducted in 2011 and 2012 to evaluate the effect of nitrogen and mulching using dried weeds on maize growth and nutrient accumulation. The study was located in the Research Farm of the Agricultural Science Education Unit of the Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria ((latitude 5<sup>0</sup> 46’N and longitude 6<sup>0</sup> 5’E). The experiment consist of eight (8) treatments (i) control (ii) 40kgNha<sup>-1</sup> (iii) 80kgNha<sup>-1</sup> (iv) 120kgNha<sup>-1</sup> (v) 4.5t ha<sup>-1</sup> <i>Panicum maximum</i> + 40kgNha<sup>-1</sup> (vi) 4.5t ha<sup>-1</sup> <i>Pueraria phaseoloides </i>+ 40kgNha<sup>-1</sup> (vii) 4.5t ha<sup>-1</sup> <i>Eleusine indica</i> + 40kgNha<sup>-1</sup> (viii) 4.5t ha<sup>-1</sup> <i>Stylosanthes</i> <i>gracilis</i> + 40kgNha<sup>-1</sup>. The treatments were replicated three times. From research results, the combination of <i>Pueraria phaseoloides</i> with 40kgNha<sup>-1</sup> showed higher maize plant height, foliage development attributes, shoot dry matter, crop growth indices and nutrient uptake compared to other combinations, while only nitrogen application of 120kgNha<sup>-1</sup> recorded the highest in all the treatments. It can be concluded based on the results in this study, that legume based weeds as mulch can be supplemented with nitrogen to improve maize growth.
    Foliage, Maize, Mulching, Nutrient Uptake, Organic Residues