Fertilizer Application

Fertilizers

Fertilizer application

  • In Uganda sorghum is grown in soils with low fertility but farmers do not use fertilizers to enhance productivity.
  • Fertilizer or manure is important for early vegetative growth and rapid development.
  • Sorghum uses relatively large amounts of nitrogen and moderate amounts of phosphorus and potassium.
  • Organic fertilizer or manure can be broadcast in the field and incorporated in the soil or in bands along the planting furrows at rate of 5-10 ton ha-1.
  • For basal application, a compound fertilizer (DAP 20:20:0 or 23:23:0) at 20Kg N and 20Kg of P2O5 per acre may be applied in furrows.
  • Top dressing with 20Kg N as straight fertilizer (CAN, UREA) may also be applied beside the crop in presence of adequate moisture to dissolve the fertilizer.
  • However, due to high costs of fertilizer micro-dosing can be adopted where a rate of 6g (NPK; 15:15:15) plus 2g of DAP and 1g of urea is recommended by ICRISAT.

Crop rotation

  • Sorghum normally comes late in the rotation, but also grows well in early rotation.
  • Continuous cultivation in the same field with cereals increases striga infestation.
  • Normally a cereal-legume (sorghum-groundnuts, cotton and cowpea) rotation is recommended and to a lesser extent the sorghum-root crops rotation is adopted by farmers.
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