The paper examines the adoption of site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) by maize farmers in North Sumatra and its impact on production and farmers' income. The SSNM introduced to farmers was recommended by a study conducted in the region in 2004-2007: 160 kg ha-1 N, 72 kg ha-1 P2O5 and 90 kg ha-1 K2O. The study also disseminated a new high-yielding variety of maize together with recommendations for planting density and the number of seeds per hole. Research was carried out in five sites in Tigabinanga sub-district—a dryland farming region located 600-700m above mean sea level. Thirty-two per cent of farmers followed the fertilizer recommendations, which saw an 11.49 per cent increase in production (9,353 t ha-1) compared to traditional farmer practices (8,278 t ha-1). Farmers' income increased by 17.13 per cent from Rp. 9,563.840 to Rp. 11,541.340. Due to labour constraints, farmers did not follow all the recommend practices. However, the authors note that this could be solved by introducing seed planters, as well as fertilizer applicators to minimize labour costs. This research contributes to identifying suitable technologies and practices that can increase farmer productivity and labour efficiency.
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Akmal, Yufdy M.P. and Girsang S.S.
In 'Maize for Asia: emerging trends and technologies. Proceeding of the 10th Asian Regional Maize Workshop, Makassar, Indonesia, 20-23 October 2008', ed. by P.H. Zaidi, M. Azrai and K.V. Pixley. CIMMYT