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Use ofLeucaena leucocephala (Lam. de Wit) leaves as a nitrogen source for crop production


Field and pot trials were conducted to determine optimum management practices for usingLeucaena leucocephala (Lam. de Wit) leaves as a N source for crop production. Field trials with maize showed no benefit from split application of leucaena leaves or from application of fresh as opposed to dried material. Field trials also failed to show any difference between incorporation as opposed to surface application of leucaena leaves. This may be attributed to the low nitrogen response observed. Pot trials however, showed that soil incorporation of leucaena leaves was more effective than surface application in increasing plant dry weight.

Leucaena leaves were not as effective as inorganic N in increasing maize grain yield (field trials) or dry matter production (pot trial). Unlike inorganic N, leucaena leaves had a significant residual effect on the succeeding maize crop. In decomposition studies, buried leucaena leaves decomposed more quickly than surface-applied leaves, and fresh leaves decomposed more rapidly than dried leaves.

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Read, M., Kang, B. & Wilson, G. Use ofLeucaena leucocephala (Lam. de Wit) leaves as a nitrogen source for crop production. Fertilizer Research 8, 107–116 (1985).

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Key words

  • decomposition
  • Leucaena leaves
  • maize yield
  • nitrogen source
  • placement
  • residual effect