Application of nitrogen fertilizer in maize in Southern Asia: a review

J. Shrestha, A. Chaudhary, D. Pokhrel


The rate, time and method of nitrogen (N) fertilizer application are strongly related to growth, development, and yield of the crop. This study principally focuses on the role of the nitrogen in growth, development, and production of the maize, emphasizing time and methods of fertilizer application and their suitable rates. The review shows that crop yield increases up to certain limit and declines if applied in an excess amount of nitrogen. Nitrogen affects various physiological and biochemical processes in plant cells that ultimately affect the growth and development of the plant. Nitrogen response by maize differs due to growth stages, environment and genotype of maize. Hybrid and improved maize varieties are more nitrogen-responsive than local varieties of maize. Proper nitrogen applications as basal doses at planting stage, split doses at critical growth stages namely knee high, and flowering stages are necessary for higher grain yield. This review serves as a useful tool to maize researchers and growers for making the right decision on nitrogen application on maize.

Palabras clave

Maize; nitrogen fertilization; crop growth; yield; grain nitrogen content.

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


Abebe, Z., & Feyisa, H. (2017). Effects of nitrogen rates and time of application on yield of maize: rainfall variability influenced time of N application. International Journal of Agronomy, Volume 2017, Article ID 1545280,

Adhikari, P., Baral, B.R., & Shrestha, J. (2016). Maize response to time of nitrogen application and planting seasons. Journal of Maize Research and Development, 2(1), 83-93.

Adhikary, B. H., & Adhikary, R. (2013). Enhancing effect of nitrogen on grain production of hybrid maize in Chitwan valley. Agronomy Journal of Nepal, 3, 33-41.

Ahlawat, I. P. S., Singh, A., & Saraf, C. S. (1981). Effects of winter legumes on the nitrogen economy and productivity of succeeding cereals. Experimental Agriculture, 17(1), 57-62.

Al-Kaisi, M. M., & Yin, X. (2003). Effects of nitrogen rate, irrigation rate, and plant population on corn yield and water use efficiency. Agronomy journal, 95(6), 1475-1482. DOI:10.2134/agronj2003.1475

Arnon, I (1975). Mineral nutrition of maize. International Potash Inst.: Bern

Bache, B.W., & Heathcote, R.G. (1969). Long-term effects of fertilizers and manure on soil and leaves of cotton in Nigeria. Experimental Agriculture, 5, 241-247.

Bhattarai, E. M., Shrestha, S. P., & Panta, B. B. (2004). Soil fertility management in maize and maize based cropping system in the western hills of Nepal. In Proceedings of the 24th National Summer Workshop on Maize Research and Production in Nepal. (pp. 198-206). Organized by NARC, NMRP

Blumenthal, J., Baltensperger, D., Cassman, K. G., Mason, S., & Pavlista, A. (2008). Importance and Effect of Nitrogen on Crop Quality and Health. Agronomy & Horticulture. Faculty Publications. University of Nebraska. Available in

Brady, N. C., & Weil, R. R. (1990). The nature and properties of soils. (10th ed.) New York: Macmillan.

Carefoot, J.M., Entz, T. & Bole, J.B. (1989). Relative efficiency of fertilizer N and soil nitrate at various depths for the production of soft white wheat. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 69(4), 867- 874.

Ciampitti, I.A., & Vyn, T. J. (2010). A comprehensive study of plant density consequences on nitrogen uptake dynamics of maize plants from vegetative to reproductive stages. Field Crops Research, 121(1), 2-18.

Dawadi, D. R., & Sah, S. K. (2012). Growth and yield of hybrid maize (Zea mays L.) in relation to planting density and nitrogen levels during winter season in Nepal. Tropical Agricultural Research, 23(3), 218-227.

Dennett, M.D. (1984). The tropical environment. In: Goldsworthy, P.R. & Fischer, N.M. (Eds.). The Physiology of Tropical Field Crops, (pp. 1-38). New York: John Wiley.

Diallo, A. O., Adam, A., Akanvou, R. K., & Sallah, P. Y. K. (1997). Response of S4 maize lines evaluated under stress and non-stress environments. Developing drought-and low N-tolerant Maize. In Proceedings of a Symposium; El Batan, 25-29 Mar 1996. CIMMYT, Mexico.

Gokmen, S., Sencar, O., & Sak, M. A. (2001). Response of popcorn (Zea mays everta) to nitrogen rates and plant densities. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 25(1), 15-23.

Goydani, B. M., & Singh, C. (1968). Performance of hybrid maize under varying plant population with three levels of nitrogen and their time of application. Indian Journal of Agronomy. l3 (2), 83-87.

Gungula, D. T., Togun, A. O., & Kling, J. G. (2007). The effects of nitrogen rates on phenology and yield components of early maturing maize cultivars. Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 13(3), 319-324.

Hanway, J. J. (1963). Growth stages of corn (Zea mays, L.) 1. Agronomy Journal, 55(5), 487-492.

Hati, N., & Panda, U. N. (1970). Varietal response of maize (Zea mays L.) to levels of fertilization. Indian Journal of Agronomy, 15(4), 393-394.

Jain, V. K. (2000). Fundamental of plant physiology. S. Chand Limited, India.

Jones, M.J. (1976). Effects of three nitrogen fertilizers and lime on pH and exchangeable cation content at different depth in cropped soils at two sites in the Nigerian Savanna. Tropical. Agriculture (Trinidad), 53(3), 243-254.

Kamprath, E. J., Moll, R. H., & Rodriguez, N. (1982). Effects of nitrogen fertilization and recurrent selection on performance of hybrid populations of corn 1. Agronomy Journal, 74(6), 955-958. DOI:10.2134/agronj1982.00021962007400060007x

Keeney, D. R. (1982). Nitrogen management for maximum efficiency and minimum pollution. In Stevenson, F.J. (ed.) Nitrogen in agricultural soils. (p. 605–649). Agron. Monogr. 22. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI.

Krishnamoorthy, K., Bommegowda, A., Jagannath, M. K., Venugopal, N., Ramachandra-Prasad, T. V., Raghunatha, G., & Rajashekara, B. G. (1974). Relative production of yield in hybrid, composite and local maize as influenced by nitrogen and population levels I. Grain yield and its components. Indian Journal of Agronomy, 19, 263-266.

Lian, S. (1991). Efficiency of Nitrogen Fertilization on Upland Crops Grown in Multiple Cropping Systems in Taiwan. ASPAC Food & Fertilizer Technology Center.

Mackay, A.D., & Barber, S.A. (1986). Effect of nitrogen on root growth of two corn genotypes in the field. Agronomy Journal, 78, 699-703. DOI:10.2134/agronj1986.00021962007800040028x

Martins, A.O., Campostrini, E., Magalhaes, P.C., Guimaraes, L.J.M., Duraes, F.O.M., Marriel, I.E., & Netto, A.T. (2008). Nitrogen-use efficiency of maize genotypes in contrasting environments. Crop Breeding and Applied Biotechnology, 8: 291-298.

Mkhabela, M. S., & Pali-Shikhulu, J. (2001). Response of maize (Zea mays L.) cultivars to different levels of nitrogen application in Swaziland. In Seventh Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Maize Conference (Vol. 11, pp. 377-381).

Muza, L., Waddington, S.R., & Banziger, M. (2004). Preliminary results on the response of nitrogen use efficient OPV and hybrid maize to N fertilizer on smallholder fields in Zimbawe. In: Integrated approaches to higher maize productivity in the new millennium: Proceedings of the seventh eastern and southern Africa regional maize conference, Nairobi, Kenya, CIMMYT African Livelihoods Program, P. 245.

Nurudeen, A. R., F. M. Tetteh, F. M., Fosu , M., , Quansah, G. W., & Osuman, A. S. (2015). Improving maize yield on ferric lixisol by NPK fertilizer use. Journal of Agricultural Science, 7(12): 233-237.

Perry, W.P. (1988). Corn as a livestock feed. In Sprague, C.E. & Dudley, J.W. (eds) Corn and corn improvement, (3rd edition) (pp. 941–963), American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI.

Pokhrel, B. B., Sah, S. K., Amgain, L. P., & Ojha, B. R. (2009). Response of promising maize cultivars to different nitrogen levels in winter. In Proceeding of the Tenth Asian Regional Maize Workshop (pp. 479-483).

Rai, K. D. (1961). The response of maize following sorghum to fertilizers and foliar spray of zinc sulphate at Tozi, Sudan. Indian Journal of Agronomy, 5(1), 176-187.

Ram, A., & Thakur, R. N. (1966). Effect of fertilization on growth, yield and quality of maize. Indian Journal of Agronomy. 11(4), 315-323.

Riley, D., & Barber, S.A. (1971). Effect of ammonium and nitrate fertilization on phosphorus uptake as related to root-induced pH changes at the root-soil interface. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 35(2), 301-306. DOI:10.2136/sssaj1971.03615995003500020035x

Sallah, P.Y.K., & Twumasi-Afriyie, S. (1999). Studies on Performance of Some Open-Pollinated Maize Cultivars in the Guinea Savanna. III. Nitrogen Use Efficiencies of Four Cultivars. Ghana Journal of Agricultural Science, 32(1), 19-26

Sankaran, S., & Subbiah Mudaliar, V. T. (1997). Principles of Agronomy, (seventh edition). The Banglore Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd., Mysore Road, Bangalore. 267p.

Sarkar, A.K., Singh, K.P., Singh, B.P., & Singh, R.P. (2000). Long term effects of fertilizers, manures and amendments on crop production and soil fertility. Technical Bulletin of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry (BAU) No.2/2000. pp. 31– 45.

Sharma, J. J. (1973). Studies on the multiple cropping sequences under different fertility level. Thesis, M. Sc. Ag. H. P. U. Agric. (Complex), Palampur, India.

Sherchan D.P., Neupane, D.D., Uprety, R., Adhikary, B.H., & Maskey, S.L. (2004). Effects of micronutrients on grain production and improving quality of maize in acidic soils of the Chitwan valley. In Proceedings of the 22nd National summer crops research workshop on maize research and production in Nepal, (pp 193-197). Nepal Agricultural Research Institute, NARC, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal.

Singh, K. K. (1988). Response of maize to nitrogen rates and tassel removal. Thesis, M. Sc. G. B. Pant University of Agric and Tec, Pantnagar, India.

Singh, N. P., & Singh, R. A. (2002). Scientific crop production. Press Graphics, Delhi-28, India.

Singh, R. K. (1973). Response of maize to nitrogen fertilization. Madras Agric. J., 60, 399-400.

Shrestha, J. (2015). Growth and Productivity of Winter Maize (Zea mays L.) Under Different Levels of Nitrogen and Plant Population. [on line], Boca Raton, USA. Available in:

Szulc, P., Waligóra, H., Michalski, T., Rybus-Zajac, M., & Olejarski, P. (2016). Efficiency of nitrogen fertilization based on the fertilizer application method and type of maize cultivar (Zea mays L.). Plant Soil and Environment, 62(3), 135–142.

Terman, G. L., & Allen, S. E. (1974). Losses of nitrogen and mineral nutrients from corn grown in greenhouse pot experiments 1. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 38(2), 322-326.

Thakur, D. R., Prakash, O., Kharwara, P. C., & Bhalla, S. K. (1998). Effect of nitrogen and plant spacing on yield, nitrogen uptake and economics in baby corn (Zea mays L.). Indian Journal of Agronomy, 43(4), 668-671.

Tsai, C.Y, Dweikat, I., Huber, D. M., & Warren, H. L. (1992). Interrelationship of nitrogen nutrition with maize (Zea mays L.) grain yield, nitrogen use efficiency and grain quality. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 58(1): 1–8.

Uribelarrea, M., Moose, S.P. & Below, F.E. (2007). Divergent selection for grain protein affects nitrogen use in maize hybrids. Field Crops Research, 100(1), 82–90.

Verma, B. S., & Singh, R. R. (1976). Effect of nitrogen, moisture regime and plant density on grain yield and quality of hybrid maize. India, No. 77-212400. CIMMYT.

Wajid, A., Ghaffar, A., Maqsood, M., Hussain, K., & Nasim, W. (2007). Yield response of maize hybrids to varying nitrogen rates. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 44(2), 217-220.

Yadav, D. N. (1990). Growth and productivity of maize under different crop sequences and nitrogen rates. Doctoral dissertation, Ph. D. Thesis, GB Pant Univ. of Agric. and Tech., Pantanagar, India.


Enlaces refback

  • No hay ningún enlace refback.

Copyright (c) 2018 J. Shrestha, A. Chaudhary, D. Pokhrel


Peruvian Journal of Agronomy
Facultad de Agronomía
Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina
Av. La Molina s/n, La Molina.
Lima 12. Perú
Phone: +51 (1) 6147800 - 475