Agronomic effectiveness of water hyacinth-based composts

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African Journal of Agricultural Research
Because water hyacinth-based compost contains substantial amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) its application can boost crop production. We evaluated the agronomic performance of water hyacinth-based composts using field experiments and five treatments which were; water hyacinth compost made using cattle manure (WH+CM), poultry manure (WH+PM), molasses (WH+MO), water hyacinth alone (WH alone) and the control. The composts were applied at two rates of 3 and 6 t ha-1 using maize (LONGE 4) as a test crop. Grain yields of 6.8 t ha-1 harvested in WH+CM applied at 6 t ha-1 and 6.5 t ha-1 harvested in WH+PM applied at 3 t ha-1 were statistically similar, and were the highest in the experiment. The highest harvest index and agronomic nitrogen efficiency were obtained at 3 t ha-1 from WH+PM (4.57) and WH+MO (42.6 kg kg-1) respectively. Compost formulation WH+PM applied at 3 t ha-1 was the most effective as measured in terms of grain yield and is recommended for application by farmers for good yields of maize crop.