Saturday, January 23, 2010

Response of corn to chicken dung and rice hull ash application and mycorrhizal fungi inoculation

By Luz Geneston-Asio, Central Analytical Services Lab, VSU, Baybay, Leyte

The use of locally available and cheap organic fertilizers like chicken dung and rice hull ash which have the ability to increase crop yield and at the same time improve soil quality is becoming popular among farmers in many places in the Philippines. In addition, considering that the world demand for corn as food and feed is projected to greatly increase in the coming decades, there is a need to explore the use of such materials for corn production.

We evaluated the growth and yield responses of corn to chicken dung and rice hull ash application a well as to mycorrhizal fungi inoculation. The experiment was laid out in a split-plot in Randomized Complete Block Design consisting of three replications. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) inoculation served as the main plot while application of fertilizer was designated as the subplot. The fertilizer treatments included the following: To-control, T1-inorganic fertilizer (60-60-60 kg/ha N, P205, K20), T2-chicken dung alone (60 kg/ha N), T3-chicken dung (as in T2) + 30 kg/ha rice hull ash. The experimental area had an alluvial clay loam soil with pH of 5.8 and moderate fertility status.

Results showed that VAM inoculation significantly increased the total N but not the total P, K, and Ca contents of the tissue of corn plant. However, VAM inoculation did not significantly affect the grain yield and the agronomic characteristics of corn. In contrast, fertilization using inorganic fertilizer, chicken dung or chicken dung plus rice hull ash enhanced the early tasseling and silking but not emergence and maturity of corn. The application of fertilizers significantly increased plant height as well as the fresh stover yield compared to the control plants.

The inorganic fertilizer, chicken dung, and chicken dung plus rice hull ash significantly increased the number of ears per plant, ear length, number of grains per ear, weight of 1000 seeds, grain yield and harvest index. The use of chicken dung combined with rice hull ash for corn production is a good substitute for the inorganic fertilizer in increasing corn grain yield. (Above photo shows VAM infection in the root of corn from this study).


Luz Geneston-Asio and Alfredo B. Escasinas. 2006. Response of corn to chicken dung and rice hull ash application and mycorrhizal fungi inoculation. Annals of Tropical Research 26: 23-36