Mr Charles Ador, the Biakoye District Crop Officer says fertilizer application to crops is a vital aspect of farming and must be taken seriously.
He said fertilizer provided crops with essential macronutrients, such as Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K), and other micronutrients, which promote crops health, faster and uniform growth, which facilitates the realisation of their potential yields.
He said continual cropping on the same piece of land reduces the soil’s nutrients potentials to support crops growth and that farmers who continually crop maize on the same piece of land without the use of fertilizer, with experience come to realization that economic yield could no longer be obtained.
Mr Ador said this at a capacity building workshop organised by the Biakoye Department of Agriculture for selected farmers and Agriculture Field Officers on modern maize cultivation techniques at Tapa-Amanfrom in the Biakoye District of the Oti Region.
The Crop Officer said maize responded effectively to fertilizers to produce their high yield potential. He said fertilizer replaced the soil nutrient that crops significantly removed from the soil.
Mr. Ador explained that arable land for crop cultivation would lose its nutrient capacity to support crops growth if fertilizers were not used. On Maize cultivation, he said planting of maize started after thorough land preparation and seed variety selection.
He noted that in the choice of variety, consideration must be given to the unique production limitations, which he mentioned, nutrient status of the soil, water storage capacity, rainfall pattern, diseases, and pests.
He recommended the use improved certified maize seeds, at least to reduce their effect on yield.
Mr Ador said improved varieties of maize had good agronomic strength to tolerate drought, resist pests and diseases and some were early maturing while others were late in maturing.
“For early maturing variety, CSIR-Akposoe, for instance, has a maturity period of 85 Days, while that of CSIR-Omankwa has maturity period of 90 Days,” adding that improved varieties of maize had proven performance to give higher yields.
Mr Ador said early maturing varieties (80-100 days) were planted at the distance of 70cmx20 cm, one seed per hill and intermediate and a late maturing variety (105-120 days) were planted at a distance of 75cmx25cm.
The Crop Officer explained that these planting spacings would give a high planting density of 22,000-28,000 plants per acre.
Madam Beatrice Ayebea, a participant speaking to the Ghana News Agency, said she would put the teachings into practice and share the knowledge acquired with other farmers.
By Daniel Agbesi Latsu, GNA