The comparative effectiveness of long yam bean and organic and inorganic fertilizers for soil fertility improvement was carried out in an investigation conducted in Araromi Farms (latitude 7°16’N and longitude 5°17’E) in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State Nigeria in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The experimental design was a randomized complete block consisting of four treatments replicated three times. The four treatments were organic compost at 2 t/ha, inorganic NPK fertilizer at 250 kg/ha, plots planted with long yam bean and a control without any inputs. Maize seeds obtained from Ondo State Agricultural Development Project were planted at 60 × 30 cm to give a plant population of 55,500 plants per hectare. Pre treatment and post treatment soil samples were taken for laboratory analysis for a comparison of the assessment of the cumulative effects of organic compost, inorganic fertilizer and long yam bean in improving soil fertility over a period of three years. The organic matter and nitrogen contents in the long yam bean and other manured plots were not significantly different. The soil nutrient status produced as a result of manure treatments reflected in the yield of maize. In 2007 significantly higher maize grain yield of 1.58 t/ha was obtained in NPK plot compared to other treatments while in 2008 and 2009, significantly higher maize grain yield of 1.76 and 1.86 t/ha respectively were obtained in organic compost plot with a comparable maize yield values between long yam bean and the NPK fertilizer plots in 2008. The profitable analysis showed a higher net revenue and benefit/cost ratio in long yam bean than in other treatment plots. The effectiveness of intercropping maize with long yam bean to maintain soil fertility and improve the yield of maize was comparable with the use of inorganic NPK 15-15-15 fertilizers and organic compost.
Key words: Long yam bean, organic and inorganic fertilizers, soil nutrient improvement, maize yield.
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