Nutrients Limiting Soybean (glycine max l) Growth in Acrisols and Ferralsols of Western Kenya

Submitted by charlotte.schilt on

Low soybean yields in western Kenya have been attributed to low soil fertility despite much work done on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) nutrition leading to suspicion of other nutrient limitations. To investigate this, a nutrient omission trial was set up in the greenhouse at the University of Eldoret-Kenya to diagnose the nutrients limiting soybean production in Acrisols from Masaba central and Butere sub-Counties, and Ferralsols from Kakamega (Shikhulu and Khwisero sub-locations) and Butula sub-Counties and to assess the effect of liming on soil pH and soybean growth. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design with ten treatments viz; positive control (complete), negative control (distilled water), complete with lime, complete with N, minus macronutrients P, potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S) and with, micro-nutrients boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) omitted. Visual deficiency symptoms observed included interveinal leaf yellowing in Mg omission and N addition and dark green leaves in P omission. Nutrients omission resulted in their significantly low concentration in plant tissues than the complete treatment. Significantly (P≤ 0.05) lower shoot dry weights (SDWs) than the complete treatment were obtained in different treatments; omission of K and Mg in Masaba and Shikhulu, Mg in Khwisero, K in Butere and, P, Mg and K in Butula. Nitrogen significantly improved SDWs in soils from Kakamega and Butula. Liming significantly raised soil pH by 9, 13 and 11% from 4.65, 4.91 and 4.99 in soils from Masaba, Butere and Butula respectively and soybean SDWs in soils from Butere. The results show that, poor soybean growth was due to K, Mg and P limitation and low pH in some soils. The results also signify necessity of application of small quantities of N for initial soybean use.

Keino, L., Baijukya, F., Ng'etich, W., Otinga, A. N., Okalebo, J. R., Njoroge, R., Mulalama, J.
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