Impacts of NPK consortia biofertilizer and mineral fertilizer on growth and yield of two maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids in Rajasthan-India
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Inoculation of important microbial strains in a modern intensive crop production is a critical step for the improvement of hybrid crop production. This study evaluated the impact of NPK consortia biofertilizer (NPK CB) and mineral fertilizer on growth and yield of two maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids at Mewar University research farm, India. The research was conducted during 2020/2021 Kharif cultivation season. The split-plot design was adopted in three replications, each consisting of six treatments combinations; (T1 = control, T2 = 50% Recommended Dose of Fertilizers (RDF), T3 = 100% RDF, T4 = NPK CB, T5 = 50% RDF + NPK CB and T6 = 100% RDF + NPK CB) and two maize hybrids (i.e., N.K-30 and N.K-30 plus). The result obtained revealed that the growth attributes, and yield attributes increased due to the combined application of NPK CB and mineral fertilizers. But there is no significant difference (p>0.05) observed between the studied hybrids, except for the 1000 kernels weight. Although the highest grain yield (1987.39 kg ha-1) obtained from the application of T6 (100%RDF + NPK CB) was comparable with the grain yield (1957.64 kg ha-1) obtained from the application of T3 (100% RDF). However, inoculation with NPK CB had superior effects on growth and yield attributes over the sole application of mineral fertilizers below the RDF. Hence, NPK CB could be a potent fertilizer input for hybrids maize production while reducing the level of chemical fertilizers below the RDF.