EFFECTS OF BIOFERTILIZERS ON THE GROWTH OF ZEA MAYS L.M. IWUAGWU, K.S. CHUKWUKA, U.N. UKA AND M.C. AMANDIANEZE
In recent years, the number of chemical industries increased in order to meet up with the demand for fertilizers. These industries depend on fossil fuels; hence the cost of fertilizer is governed by the cost of fuels. In order to reduce the dependence on chemical fertilizers, an alternative method is to be developed which will provide nutrients to plants. Increased cost of inorganic fertilizers including their inability to condition the soil and their polluting effect on the environment has directed attention to other sources of soil fertilization to enhance maize production. Hence a study was carried out to determine the effect of microbial inoculants (biofertilizers) comprising Azotobacter species, Azospirillum species and phosphate solubilising micro-organism (PSM) on the growth of Zea mays L. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design with six treatments and four replicates. Treatment one T1 represents control, T2= Azospirillum inoculants, T3= Azotobacter inoculants, T4= Phosphate Solubilizing organism, T5= Azotobacter+ Azospirullum+PSM, T6=Azotobacter+ Azospirillum. The treatments were applied to the maize seedlings 10 days after planting. Parameters for growth such as plant height, root length, plant fresh weight, dry weight,stem base diameter and plant chlorophyll content were used to compare the vegetative growth of the seedlings on different treatment applications. The result showed that seedlings treated with microbial inoculants responded greatly when compared to the control. Analysis of variance showed that there was significant increase in height, root length, stem diameter, fresh and dry weight of seedlings on the application of the microbial inoculants. The result suggests that that biofertilizers enhances the growth of Zea mays and as such its usage should be encouraged because of it is ecofriendly.
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