Fertilizer Recommendation for Maize, Sorghum, Millet, Cowpea, Soybean and Cotton in Nigeria

  • I. Y. Amapu
  • V. O. Chude
  • B. D. Tarfa


Nigeria, like most sub-Sahara Africa countries, is an agrarian country its heavy reliance on petroleum as a major source of income notwithstanding. Fertilizer is one of the most important inputs needed for increased and sustained crop and soil productivity. This is because most of the soils are inherently poorly endowed with many of the essential nutrients required by crops grown in Nigeria. Due to the fact that fertilizers must be used judiciously to ensure good economic returns and minimize any deleterious environmental consequence, there is the need to determine the right source, right rate, right placement method and time of application (4Rs). This is further necessitated by the high spatial variability of Nigerian soils occasioned by diverse rocks from where they are formed, the climate, vegetation and other soil forming factors. Efforts have been made by Agronomists and Soil Scientists since 1937, when inorganic fertilizers were introduced into Nigeria, to ensure that the four Rs of best fertilizer management practices (BFMPs) are put in place. This paper reviews the development in fertilizer recommendations for some selected crops in Nigeria. It ascertained that before a recommendation is made necessary steps such as correlation and calibration studies, and the establishment of critical soil test levels are carried out; such trials result in average recommendations for a crop within an area which are normally put out by approved extension agencies for adoption by farmers. Most of these efforts were aimed at maximizing crop yields while a few studies included information on maximizing profits and providing options for different economic categories of farmers to use this input. The paper posits that to ensure site-specific recommendation, efforts should be geared towards the employment of decision support tools such as Nutrient Expert and Rice Advisor, among others and soil tests with innovative tools such as the SoilDoc and other soil test kits.


Fertilizer recommendation Site-specific Soil test 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, Faculty of AgricultureInstitute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello UniversityZariaNigeria
  2. 2.Productivity Enhancement DepartmentNational Programme for Food SecurityAbujaNigeria

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