Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 73, Issue 2–3, pp 267–275 | Cite as

On-farm Evaluation of Biological Nitrogen Fixation Potential and Grain Yield of Lablab and Two Soybean Varieties in the Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria

  • J. A. Okogun
  • N. Sanginga
  • R. Abaidoo
  • K. E. Dashiell
  • J. Diels


Several legumes with high biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) potentials have been studied in on-station trials. The processes involved in BNF and the benefits of these species to crop production need to be evaluated using farmers' management practices in farmers' fields. An on-farm trial with 20 farmers was conducted in the northern Guinea savanna (NGS) of Nigeria. The aims were to evaluate the BNF potentials of an improved soybean variety (TGx 1448-2E) and a local variety (Samsoy-2) when inoculated with Bradyrhizobium strains, and of Lablab in farmer-managed and researcher-managed soybean-maize and Lablab-maize crop rotation systems. The level of soil P was generally low with more than 50% of the fields having less than the critical P level. The plant available P content was statistically significantly (P = 0.05) correlated with P in grain (r = 0.60), P in the shoot (r = 0.68), grain yield (r = 0.40) and nodule weight (r = 0.35). Variations in plant parameters (nodulation, shoot dry matter, percentage nitrogen derived from the air [%Ndfa], grain yield, and nutrient uptake) among and within farmers’ fields were attributed to differences in soil fertility and crop management. About 60% of the fields were moderately fertile, sufficient to support legume establishment, while about 30% of the farmers' fields had a low fertility level. For farmers in the study area to benefit from the BNF potentials of the legumes, an external P fertilizer input was necessary as well as suitable crop management practices because all parameters measured in the researcher-managed plots were higher than in the farmer-managed plots.


Biological nitrogen fixation Grain yield Northern Guinea savanna Soybean 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Okogun
    • 1
  • N. Sanginga
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Abaidoo
    • 1
  • K. E. Dashiell
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Diels
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)IbadanNigeria
  2. 2.Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of CIAT (TSBF-CIAT)NairobiKenya
  3. 3.Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural ResourcesOklahoma State UniversityUSA

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