Growth and yield of Akposoe maize variety under different water placement depths in Ghana
Maize (Zea mays, L.) is an important staple crop and had contributed significantly in ensuring food security and growth of Ghana’s economy. Its productivity over the years has being limited by unpredictable rainfall pattern. The experiment was conducted to evaluate a PVC drip irrigation system using Akposoe maize variety under supplementary irrigation, during the 2011 major growing season in, Kumasi, Ghana. Irrigation water was applied at the surface (0 cm), 20 cm, 40 cm depth and ‘no irrigation’ as the control forming the four treatments. The experimental design was Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in four replicates. The depth of irrigation water applied significantly influenced maize growth and dry matter yield. Ten weeks after planting, water applied at 20 cm depth, produced the tallest plant height (177.85 cm), biggest stem girth (8.95 cm) and highest dry matter yield (6085.06 kg/ha). The highest number of leaves (13.15) was recorded in the 20 cm and at 0 cm depth. Treatment 40 cm depth recorded the largest leaf diameter (9.73 cm) and longest leaf length (73.6 cm). The ‘no irrigation’ gave the shortest plant height (132.8 cm), smallest stem girth (6.8 cm), lowest number of leaves (10.40), smallest leaf diameter (7 cm), lowest leaf length (58.67 cm) and the lowest dry matter (2296.95 kg/ha). In general, the growth parameters monitored under drip irrigation was statistically similar, but significantly different compared to ‘no irrigation’ and surface and subsurface treatments. Generally the water application depth had a statistical significant effect on maize growth and yield.