The study aimed to evaluate the effect of Daniella wood Biochar on the growth and biomass of maize harvested 8 weeks after sowing in a pot experiment. The research was carried out in order to evaluate the effect of Daniella wood biochar on the growth and biomass of maize and the effects of Daniella wood biochar on the physiochemical properties of the soil. Pots were filled with 5 kg of normal soil (oxisol) and biochar was thoroughly mixed with the soil and six treatments were applied (4, 8, 12. 16 and 20 tha-1 of biochar and control). The treatments were replicated three times. The experiments were laid out in a complete randomized design (CRD). Data on growth parameters such as plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, stem diameter, fresh leaf weight, dry leaf weight, fresh shoot weight, dry shoot weight, fresh biomass weight and dry biomass weight were collected. Soil samples incorporated with daniella wood biochar were collected before planting and after harvest for determination of physiochemical properties of the samples. Application of 12 tha-1 produced significantly (P<0.01) higher plant height (142.2 cm) wider Leaf area (538.0 cm2 ), higher fresh biomass weight (221.4 gpot-1 ), dry biomass weight (79.9 gpot-1 ), fresh shoot weight (140.0 g), dry shoot weight (53.7 gpot-1 ), fresh leaf weight (81.4 gpot-1) and dry leaf weight (32.5 gpot-1) while 20 tha-1produced highly significant number of leaves (17) and wider stem diameter (1.63 cm). In conclusion, it was established that the application of 12tha- Daniella wood biochar generally increases maize growth parameters (plant height, leaf area, fresh leaf weight, dry leaf weight, fresh shoot weight, dry shoot weight and plant biomass weight), while 20 tha-1 increases the leaf production and stem diameter of the crop.
Key words: Biochar, maize, growth, biomass and oxisols.
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