Effect of partial substitution of bulk urea by nanoparticle urea fertilizer on productivity and nutritive value of teosinte varieties
¹Crop Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, Aflaton street, El-Shatby, EG21545 Alexandria, Egypt
²Soil and Water Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, Aflaton street, El-Shatby, EG21545 Alexandria, Egypt
The integration of nanoparticle urea (NPU) in the fertilization scheme of forage crops with high nutrients’ requirements, like teosinte (Zea mexicana L.), would help avoiding the environmental implications associated with the application of high rates of conventional bulk urea (BU), while not depriving the plant from its benefits. The effects of fertilization treatments composed of different percentages of NPU and/or BU, on yield, agronomic characteristics and quality attributes of three cuts of two teosinte local varieties were investigated in a split-split plot design during summers of 2018 and 2019. In general, the application of 50% NPU + 50% BU was similar to 100% BU in the production of highest amount of fresh yield, with the highest values for plant height and stem diameter, in addition to appreciable nutritive value, in terms of high crude protein (66.10 g kg-1) and non-fiber carbohydrates (NFC), and low acid-detergent fiber (284.09 g kg-1) and crude fat (36.97 g kg-1) contents. While the 1st cut was characterized by the highest plant height (58.74 cm in average), stem diameter (7.64 mm in average) and leaf area (130.07 m2 in average), the 3rd cut produced the highest amount of fresh yield (39.68 t ha-1 in average). Variations in quality measures among the three cuts were almost non-significant. Variations in yield and quality were detected between the two tested local varieties. In conclusion, the combined application of 50% NPU with 50% BU is recommended for the production of fodder teosinte in similar environments.