Muqarrab Ali, Muhammad Tahir and Asghar Ali

MAIZE is the third important cereal crop of Pakistan after wheat and rice. In Pakistan spring and autumn maize crops are being cultivated. Being a short duration crop, it can easily be cultivated in rotation with different crops. Maize crop serving the purpose of food, feed and fodder in the country. The increased use of maize in the industry has given this crop a well-known place in agricultural economy. It supplies raw material for the several industries. Maize grain has higher nutritive value as it includes 72pc starch, 10pc proteins, 4.8pc oil, 5.8pc fiber, 3pc sugar and 1.7pc ash.

It is sown on an area of 9.39 million hectares with a total annual production of 3.341 million tons and national average yield is 3.56 ton par hectare. Our par acre yield is less than the world average yield due to several major reasons. Low organic matter content in our soils (0.46-54pc), imbalanced and inappropriate use of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers are the major reasons in achieving maize good stand. Due to unavailability and day by day increasing prices of fertilizers, mostly growers neglect the balanced and appropriate use of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.

    By the use of this technology, we can reduce twenty five percent our national budget for the use of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers of maize crop. Burning of crops residues and their alternative uses are the traditional practices of farmers. Due to less addition of organic matter and indigenous crop rotation system, soil productivity is decreasing day by day, that resulting in low efficiency of applied inorganic phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. To obtain higher maize yield, it is very necessary to adopt the integrated management approach.

Field studies were conducted to evaluate the growth and yield response of autumn planted maize to sole and integrated application of organic and inorganic phosphorus and potassium sources. Poultry manure and pressmud as organic phosphorus and single super phosphate as inorganic phosphorus sources were substituted in different ratios for integrated phosphorus management. Composted wheat and rice straw as organic potassium and sulphate of potash as inorganic potassium sources were substituted in different ratios for integrated potassium management in maize. Inorganic sources were substituted with 25pc, 50pc and 75pc organic source as per treatment.

Results and observations suggested that in integrated phosphorus management approach, where 25pc poultry manure and 75pc single super phosphate were used resulted in maximum grain yield than all other employed treatments.

 While in integrated potassium management approach, where 25pc composted rice straw and 75pc sulphate of potash were used, resulted in higher grain yield as compared with the rest of treatments. There results further confirmed that organic manures along with adequate proportion of synthetic fertilizer could be helpful in increasing stagnant grain yield of maize on sustainable basis.