Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Katsaruware and Gwembire

Greener Journal of  Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (11), pp. 769-777, November 2013.

 ISSN: 2276-7770 © 2011 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 102313921

 

The Effect of Agro-forestry (Leucaena leucocephala) Tree Pruning’s in Priming Media as a Nutrient Source in Early Crop Establishment for Maize (Zea mays) in Zimbabwe

 

*1Katsaruware Rumbidzai Debra, 2Gwembire Justin

 

1Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Technology: Department of Agricultural Management, Zimbabwe Open University, Mashonaland West Region. P O Box 285 Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.

2Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Teacher Development, Zimbabwe Open University, Mashonaland West Region. P O Box 285, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.

 

2Email: jgwembire @ gmail.com, Telephone: 067-29345/6, Cell: +263 773 919 807

 

*Corresponding Author’s Email: rdkatsaruware @ gmail.com, Telephone: 067-29345/6,

Cell: +263 733 831 052


Abstract:

Maize crop establishment is a major problem in smallholder farming. A field experiment was carried out in Hurungwe district (Zimbabwe) in the 2011/12 growing season to determine the role of agroforestry tree pruning's (Leucaena leucocephala) in priming media for crop establishment. In the experiment, concentrations of 0, 50, 100, 150 and 200g l-1 were used in varying seed with soaking periods of 16, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours in priming media. The results showed that percentage germination, radicle length and the germination time were significantly (p<0.05) affected by soaking period and pruning concentrations. Shoot dry mass of maize was not significantly affected (p<0.05) by pruning concentration and soaking period. Results suggest that the optimum concentration of pruning required for initiation of above ground plant growth falls within the 100-150g l-1 range. Furthermore, increase in concentration resulted in progressive decline in the germination rate. Soaking seeds for 24 hours at 100g l-1 improved the crop establishment. Smallholder farmers can utilize a pruning concentration of 100g l-1 for 24 hours to enhance nutrient availability to the seed. In addition, use of the amended priming media is encouraged to enhance early crop germination and offset the effect of inherent soil acidity and infertility that characterize most parts of the country.
 
Keywords: Agroforestry, establishment. Leucaena, maize, nutrient.

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