African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6574

Full Length Research Paper

Restoring soil fertility in previously sugarcane cropped farms for maize production in Butere- Kakamega County

S. Oyamo
  • S. Oyamo
  • Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture and Biotechnology, University of Eldoret, P. O. Box 1125, Eldoret, Kenya.
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C. Serrem
  • C. Serrem
  • Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture and Biotechnology, University of Eldoret, P. O. Box 1125, Eldoret, Kenya.
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A. N. Otinga
  • A. N. Otinga
  • Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture and Biotechnology, University of Eldoret, P. O. Box 1125, Eldoret, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 14 November 2016
  •  Accepted: 04 July 2017
  •  Published: 17 August 2017

Abstract

The depletion of fertility in tropical soils of sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is mainly due to continuous cropping without proper nutrient replenishment. This study was intended to find ways of restoring soil fertility towards sustainable maize production in previously sugarcane cropped fields in Butere-Kakamega County. Field experiments were conducted in Butere and Bukura sites located in Kakamega County in the long rains of 2014. The field experiments consisted of twelve treatments with one control. The treatments included Tithonia diversifolia (a green manure), Di ammonium phosphate (DAP) filter mud, and bagasse (both sugarcane processing by products), each to supply 39 kg P ha-1 and eight other treatments consisting of a combination of either two of the above materials to supply either 26 or 39 kg P ha-1 treated either with or without lime using a split plot arrangement in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Lime was allocated in the main plot and the treatments as the sub plots. The experiment was replicated three times in each site. Application of lime, with the consequent use of either filter mud or Tithonia in combination with DAP was quite significant in raising maize grain yield as compared to the control. The best treatment was the one  consisting of lime (3 tons ha-1)  with a combination of filter mud + DAP (to supply 39 kg P ha-1) which yielded 5.14 and 5.23 tons ha -1 in Bukura and Butere sites, respectively. This could be attributed to high levels of organic matter and suitable pH of 6.0 in filter mud that improved the physical and chemical properties of the soil. Farmers are thus advised to consider applying filter mud together with appropriate mineral fertilizers as filter mud can be supplied freely from sugar factories.

 

Key words: Soil fertility, bagasse, filter mud, lime, Tithonia.