EFFECT OF METHOD OF SILICON FERTILIZATION ON MAIZE NUTRITION, YIELD AND SILICON USE EFFICIENCY GROWN IN HIGH pH SOIL
Asian Journal of Plant and Soil Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 1,
High pH soil or alkaline soil impairs plant growth by restricting water availability to plants, inability of the plants to extract essential nutrients from soil and emergence of certain nutrient deficiency like phosphorus, zinc and iron. In this context, pot experiment was initiated in the glass house of Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Annamalai University to assess the influence of different methods of silicon fertilization on mineral nutrition, yield and silicon use efficiency in maize grown in high pH soil. The treatments imposed were T1) Recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF) T2) RDF + Seed priming with silicon @2mM( milli molar), T3) RDF + soil application @ 100 kg/ha, T4) RDF + soil application @150 kg/ha, T5) RDF + soil application @ 200 kg/ha T6) RDF + soil application @ 100 kg/ha + seed priming with silicon @2mM, T7) RDF + soil application @ 150 kg/ha + seed priming with silicon @2mM and T8) RDF + soil application @ 200 kg/ha + seed priming with silicon @2 mM. It was conducted in CRD with three replications employing maize var. Co8 as test crop. The outcome of the experiment was nutrient (N, P.K and Si) concentrations and uptake in grain and stover were also positively influenced by providing maize crop with silicon through seed and soil along with RDF over no silicon. The percent enhancement due to silicon treatments on nutrient uptake ranged from N (62.6 to 104.8%), P (89.2 to 178.4%), K (72.4 to 117.3%) and Si (107.9 to 185.2%) over no silicon addition. the maize crop supplied with silicon as seed primer or directly added to soil recorded signicantly higher grain yield ( 27.8 to 30.3 g /plant ) as against 19 g/plant( no silicon) and stover yield ( 33.4 to 38.7 g/plant) as against 22.5 g/plant (no silicon). Agronomic efficiency, apparent Si recovery decreased with silicon levels and values were higher when maize crop received silicon through seed and soil compared to individual application. It is concluded that under alkaline stress, application silicon through soil application (200 kg/ha) and seed priming (2mM) is most profitable venture in ensuring higher maize yield and mineral nutrition.