INTERACTIVE EFFECT OF SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT AND NITROGEN FERTILIZER SOURCES ON GROWTH AND NITROGEN UPTAKE IN MAIZE

  • Lakshyadeep Devkota Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science https://orcid.org/0009-0004-7508-9625
  • Keshar Bahadur Khatri Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science
  • Ram Kumar Shrestha Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science
  • Bipin Acharya Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science
  • Sagar Sharma Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science
Keywords: Maize, NDVI, Water use efficiency, Drought, Nano Fertilizer

Abstract

Water scarcity and soil nutrient depletion significantly constrain global maize productivity amidst recurrent droughts due to climate change. So, this study was designed in a two-factorial pot culture, comprising twelve treatments and four replications in a completely randomized design, to examine the synergistic impacts of nitrogen (N) fertilizer sources and soil moisture levels on maize growth and nitrogen uptake. The treatments included nitrogen fertilizer sources (100% urea, 100% nanourea, 50% urea + 50% nanourea, control) and distinct soil moisture regimes (75% FC, 50% FC, and 35% FC). Elevated soil moisture positively correlated with increased plant height, leaf area, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), while dry root biomass displayed opposing trends. Notably, the 50% Urea + 50% Nano Urea treatment exhibited superior aboveground biomass (350 gm, 314 gm, and 236 gm) and N uptake (2.15%, 1.89%, and 1.99%) across all moisture regimes (75% FC, 50% FC, and 25% FC, respectively). Moreover, plants at 50% FC demonstrated enhanced water use efficiency, surpassing 35% FC and 50% FC by 52% and 63%, respectively. Overall, the combined application of 50% urea and 50% nanourea under optimal soil moisture (75% FC) notably improved growth, nitrogen uptake, and photosynthetic activity. However, their efficacy declined under water stress conditions, with singular nanourea exhibiting a relatively milder susceptibility to water stress.

Published
2023-12-30
Section
Research articles