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This study was carried out to assess the soil fertility status for maize (Zea mays) production in soils of sixteen villages of Moshi Rural, Kilimanjaro region in February 2019. Sixteen field soil samples were collected through random sampling approach. A total of sixteen soil parameters including soil reaction (pH), Organic carbon (OC), nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Sulfur (S) Exchangeable bases (Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), and potassium (K), Extractable micronutrients (Manganese (Mn), aluminum (Al), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe) and Boron (B) was tested in the soil laboratory in Agricultural Research Institute Mlingano Tanzania.
The soil analysis results indicated that, the studied soils were strongly acidic (5.0-5.9) indicating the need for liming to raise up the soil pH. The concentration of total nitrogen in Moshi Rural maize growing farms was very low to low (0.01 to 0.1%). The concentration of phosphorus ranges from 1-3 mg/l with an average of 2.742 suggesting that all studied areas should be considered for P supplementation. Exchangeable Na in the studied soils varies from 0.01 to 0.1 cmol (+) kg-1 with the average of 0.0154. This value suggests that exchangeable Na in the studied soils is very low with the implication that the studied soils are not salt affected. Micronutrients were seen as not a problem in the studied soils.
The studied soils generally are poor in soil fertility. Total nitrogen levels are very low, phosphorus is very low to medium and exchangeable bases and extractable micronutrients and equally very low to medium. Application of farm yard manure available in the locality, in combination with Diammonium phosphate or NPK is recommended at the average rate of 50 Kg per acre during planting and CAN, MOP and NPK during top-dress.
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