A study was conducted at the Haramaya University Chiro Campus to determine the effect of enriched FYM and inorganic fertilizers on grain yield of maize and soil chemical properties. FYM was used either alone or in combination with inorganic fertilizers as follows: Control (zero fertilizers and FYM), 10 tons/ha FYM, 8 tons/ha FYM and 25 kg/ha of N + 20 kg/ha P, 6 tons/ha FYM, 50 kg/haN + 40 kg/ha P, 4 tons/ha FYM, 75 kg/ha N + 60 kg/ha P, 2 tons/ha FYM, 100 kg/ha N+80 kg/ha P, 100 kg/ha N + 100 kg/ha P. The treatments were arranged in randomized complete block design with four replications from 2008 to 2011. Result showed that 59.60 Cmole/kg, 4.58%, 0.82%, 62.7 ppm, cation exchange capacity (CEC), %OC, total N, and available P, respectively were noted after FYM application over years indicating improved soil chemical properties. Similarly, combined analysis of variance on hybrid maize (BH-140) yield over years showed no significant difference among treatments in comparison with 10 tons/ha FYM and 100 kg/ha N + 100 kg P/ha (p < 0.05). But 4 tons/ha FYM and 75 kg/ha N+60 kg/ha P increased maize yield from 5.1 tons/ha in 2009 to 8.15 tons/ha in 2010. From this finding, it was noted that enriching FYM with inorganic fertilizers can boost hybrid maize grain yield significantly through improving the physicochemical properties of the soil. On the basis of these results, it can be concluded that enriched FYM should be used for hybrid maize production at Western Hararghe in order to get maximum grain yield and sustain soil productivity. Thus, it is recommended that application of 4 tons/ha FYM incorporated with 75 kg of N and 60 kg of P at Chiro can significantly increase hybrid maize (BH-140) yield and sustain its productivity over years. Besides, it also reduces the cost of inorganic fertilizers which is becoming a bottle neck to smallholder farmers of Eastern Ethiopia. However, profitability of this technology needs to be tested at different locations and in different seasons.
Key words: Soil fertility, farm yard manure, Hybrid maize (BH-140), cation exchange capacity (CEC) inorganic fertilizers.
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