THE EESPONSE OF SOYBEAN {Glycine max (L. ) Merr) TO SULPHUR FERTILIZATION ON SELECTED SOILS OF THE NIGERIAN SAVANNA

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THE EESPONSE OF SOYBEAN {Glycine max (L. ) Merr) TO SULPHUR FERTILIZATION ON SELECTED SOILS OF THE NIGERIAN SAVANNA

Abstract:

The soils of the Nigerian savanna are generally low in sulphur and the production of leguminous crops such as soybean is therefore dependent on adequate sulphur fertilisation. This study was carried out to evaluate the response of soybean to sulphur under greenhouse conditions and on the field. For the greenhouse study, five representative soils were taken from the soybean-growing zone of the country and cropped to soybean for six weeks. The treatments consisted of four levels of sulphur (0, 10, 20, and 40 mg kg-1). The shoots were cut at the end of the six weeks, oven-dried to constant weight, milled and analysed for nutrient uptake. The field trial was conducted at Samaru and consisted of four sulphur treatments vis; 0, 10, 20, and 40 kg ha”1, and the crop was grown to full maturity and harvested when the pods were dry, just at the commencement of shattering. Under greenhouse conditions, sulphur applied at 10 mg kg-l significantly increased dry matter yield and plant height on two of the soils but leaf number was not affected by the treatments. In the field, nodulation and grain yield were marginally increased by sulphur application. However, applying 40 kg S ha-1 slightly depressed grain yield and led to a significant reduction in nodule number. Sulphur fertilisation generally enhanced the uptake of both macro and mieronutrients in the greenhouse with treatment effects on the uptake of N, P, S, Fe, and Mn attaining statistical significance on some of the soils. Sulphur application had no significant effect on the nutrient concentration in soybean index leaves under field conditions. The results of this study suggest that where the available sulphur level is about 4 mg kg-l or more, crop response is unlikely under field conditions at Samaru and possibly at other areas with similar soil characteristics within the savanna Zone.

THE EESPONSE OF SOYBEAN {Glycine max (L. ) Merr) TO SULPHUR FERTILIZATION ON SELECTED SOILS OF THE NIGERIAN SAVANNA

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