Mineral and organic fertilizers have great potential to enhance crop yields in low fertility soils of the Buganda catena. However, the need for site-specific knowledge on use and yield of the two fertilizer types in a complex soil scape is acute among smallholder farmers exploiting any soil differences. This study evaluated on-farm grain yield response of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to organic and mineral N and P fertilizers on three soils. Treatments included poultry manure at 0, 2.5 and 5.0 t ha-1, and N and P each at 0, 7.5, and 15 kg ha-1 in a complete factorial for two rainy seasons on each of the local farmers’ soils classified as Phaeozem, Cambisol, and Umbrisol. Fertilizer application resulted in 20, 25 and 36% maxima grain yield increase relative to soils (Phaeozem, Cambisol and Umbrisol soil, respectively) potentials when no nutrient inputs is applied. Mineral fertilizers applied separately reduced yield on the Cambisol while on Umbrisol soil, there was no particular increase; hence these were risky applications on highly degraded soils. Yield increases were greater with manure, with or without mineral fertilizers, but yield increase was not particularly fundamental on Phaeozem sites but was on Cambisol and marginal on the Umbrisol, resulting into positive and negative interaction effects, respectively. Thus, soil specific rates of manure nutrient ratios or with N and P mineral fertilizers are an effective strategy for targeting improved common bean yield under indigenous soil taxonomy of Buganda catena soils.
Key words: Phaseolus vulgaris L, integrated soil fertility management, smallholder farming, soil type.
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