Effect of Rice and Wheat Straw and K-Silicate Application on Maize Growth
Amir Aziz1*, Mukkram Ali Tahir1, Noor-us-Sabah1, Ghulam Sarwar1 and Sher Muhammad2
Maize is one of the valuable cereal crops consumed in Pakistan. Silicon (Si) ranked second in terms of abundance on earth surface and is very important for the growth of plants particularly under stress. Silicon is considered as quasiessential element for plant growth. The benefits of silicate fertilization are often correlated with the amount of silicon uptake by plants. In order to evaluate the growth and yield behavior of maize crop in response to different source of Si (straw and potassium silicate), a pot experiment was conducted at College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Pakistan in 2017. Different treatments including T1= control, T2= wheat straw (deficient @ 200 mg kg-1 of soil), T3 = wheat straw (adequate @ 400 mg kg-1 of soil), T4= rice straw (deficient @ 200 mg kg-1 of soil), T5 =rice straw (adequate @ 400 mg kg-1 of soil), T6 = K-silicate (deficient level @ 2 mg kg-1 of soil) and T7 = K silicate (adequate @ 400 mg kg-1 of soil). All the pots were arranged according to completely randomized design (CRD). In each pot five hybrid maize seed (Monsanto 234) were sown but only 3 plants were maintained after germination. The fertilizers like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (Urea, SSP and SOP) were provided to the plants according to their requirement and time. The agronomic practices needed for plants were done according to plant demand. At maturity, data regarding yield components were recorded. Soil sampling was performed in all pots to analyze parameters of interest. Statistical analysis of collected data was done using Statistics 8.1 software. From the results it was concluded that by the using the both sources of silicon (straw and potassium silicate), plant growth and yield were improved but among these sources, potassium silicate was the best. Results showed that potassium silicate @ 200 mg kg-1 of soil gave higher values in almost all physiological and yield parameters.