Global Maize Project in India: Dharwad, Karnataka - Site Specific Nutrient Management in Maize-Wheat cropping system in Northern Karnataka

This project was initiated to assess the short and long term effects of ecological intensification of maize production on productivity, environmental impact, and profitability of farmers growing maize in Northern Karnataka. This project also helps in understanding the yield potential of maize based cropping system in the region and helps develop long-term nutrient management strategies for sustaining improved maize productivity in the region.


Maize, owing to its efficient utilization of radiant energy and fixation of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is considered as one of the major high yielding crops of the world. In India, maize is considered as the third most important food grain crop and in the recent past, the production of maize has gained considerable importance primarily due to its greater demand for feed ingredient in the poultry industry besides its less water demanding nature than any other crops. Read more

Year of initiation:2009
Year of completion:2018

Interpretive Summary

The Global Maize Project in Dharwad compared the effect of ecological intensification (EI) over farmer practice (FP) for improving the productivity of the maize-wheat cropping system while ensuring higher nutrient use efficiency. EI is considered an improved nutrient management practice following the principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship and integrating other best crop management practices.

Now in its sixth year, this Global Maize Project has been comparing an ecological intensification system (EI) and farmers’ fertilization practice (FP) in a Vertisol at the experimental station of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka. The highest grain yields of maize (6. 8 t/ha) and wheat (3. 8 t/ha) were recorded with EI (180-90-100 kg N-P2O5-K2O/ha for maize and 130-70-60 kg/ha for wheat). The EI system recorded 65% higher grain yield of maize over FP.

Long-term evaluation of ecological intensification (EI) and farmer's practice (FP) in the maize-wheat cropping system during the fourth year of experimentation revealed that the grain and stover yields of maize in EI were 6. 5 and 8. 3 t/ha, which were 20 and 16% higher than the yields obtained in FP, respectively. Compared to the previous year, the grain yield under EI improved by 2. 5 t/ha (64% increase) in 2013.

Evaluation of ecological intensification (EI) and farmer's practice (FP) in the maize-wheat cropping system during the third year of this trial revealed that EI with application of 180 kg N, 90 kg P2O5 and 100 kg K2O/ha resulted in maize grain and stover yields of 3. 9 and 7. 2 t/ha, respectively. These yields were 27 and 30% higher, respectively, than the yields obtained in the FP treatment with application of 115 kg N, 52 kg P2O5 45 kg K2O/ha.

Evaluation of the maize-wheat cropping systems using ecological intensification (EI) with application of 180-90-100 kg N-P2O5-K2O/ha and FP (farmer’s practice) with application of 115-52-45 kg/ha resulted in maize grain yields of 3. 9 t/ha and 2. 8 t/ha, respectively. A 23% higher net return of INR 24,003/ha with benefit-to-cost (B:C) ratio of 2. 67 was realized with EI than with FP.

Evaluation of the maize-wheat cropping system under ecological intensification (EI) providing 180-90-100 kg N-P2O5-K2O/ha and FP (farmer practice) providing 115-52-45 kg/ha resulted in grain yields of 4. 5 t/ha and 3. 4 t/ha, respectively. Higher net returns of INR 27,282/ha were realized with EI, which was 40% higher than FP. In wheat, the yield under EI (130-70-60) and FP (70-50-60) were 3. 2 and 2. 6 t/ha, respectively. Rate and application studies found 240 kg N/ha could generate 6.

This project was initiated to optimize nutrient management for improved productivity within the maize-wheat cropping system of this region. The working objective includes a quantitative estimation of the attainable yield potential of maize and wheat from a system perspective, estimation of the indigenous nutrient supplying capacity of soils, and using such information to develop a strategy of nutrient management to maximize system productivity.

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Updates & Reports


Project Description

Project Leader

Y R Aladakatti, University of Agricultural Sciences

Project Cooperators


IPNI Staff

T. Satyanarayana


Asia \ Southern Asia \ IND \ Karnataka


4r place, 4r rate, 4r source, 4r time, global maize project

maize, wheat