Effect of Inorganic Fertilizer Micro-dosing and Weed Management Regimes on Finger Millet Productivity in Uganda

  •  Joseph Ekwangu    
  •  John Steven Tenywa    
  •  Jenifer Bisikwa    
  •  Charles Andiku    
  •  Paul Anguria    
  •  Monday Moses Paga    
  •  Deborah Lillian Nabirye    
  •  Michael Adrogu Ugen    
  •  Nelson Wanyera    


Finger millet yields in farmers’ fields are low primarily due to low soil fertility and poor weed management. Fertilizer application could be one of the key strategies used to address the problem. However, due to high cost of fertilizer, its utilization has been limited to very few farmers in the country. Consequently, a study was conducted in Kuju sub-county, Amuria district in Eastern Uganda during 2016 long and short rains to determine the effect of micro dosing and weeding time on finger millet performance and weed growth. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design in a split plot treatment structure. Weeding times constituted the main plot [weeding at 20 DAS (days after sowing), 30 DAS, 45 DAS, and 20 & 45 DAS (double weeding)], while fertilizer rates (N 16.6 kg ha-1 + P2O5 10.6 kg ha-1; P2O5 10.6 kg ha-1; N 16.6 kg ha-1; N0 + P0, and N 83 kg ha-1 + P2O5 52 kg ha-1) constituted the sub plots. Results of this study revealed that the interaction between weeding at 45 DAS and fertilizer micro-dosing significantly (P < 0.05) reduced weed biomass (7.7 × 10-4 kg ha-1) without significant increase in finger-millet grain yield. Interaction of fertilizer micro-dosing (N 16.6 kg ha-1 + P2O5 10.6 kg ha-1) with weeding once at 20 DAS recorded the highest (2292 kg ha-1) finger millet grain yield with significant (P < 0.05) reduction in days to finger millet flowering. Therefore, it is recommended that fertilizer micro-dosing at N 16.6 kg ha-1 + P2O5 10.6 kg ha-1 and weeding once at 20 DAS can be used to control weeds and enhance finger-millet productivity.

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