Best Fertilizer for Maize Farming in Nigeria

Choosing the best fertilizer for maize farming in Nigeria may not be an easy task as most farmers think.

There are a lot of fertilizers that are good for maize farming in Nigeria. A maize farmer is always advised to conduct a soil test and ask an expert to advise him on the best types of fertilizers to use.

This post highlights and explains the best fertilizers for maize farming in Nigeria.

best fertilizer

The Best Fertilizer for Maize Farming in Nigeria

The following are the best fertilizers for maize farming in Nigeria:

NPK Fertilizers

NPK Fertilizer is a type of fertilizer that contains Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. This type of fertilizer is very good for the cultivation of maize.

NPK 15:15:15 which has 15% nitrogen, 15% phosphorus and 15% potassium is particularly useful for the growing of maize in Nigeria. This is due to the fact that it is a balanced type of fertilizer. It supplies all the needed macro nutrients in equal proportion.

NPK 20:10:10 which has 20% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus and 10% potassium is useful during the vegetative stage of corn plants. The higher nitrogen content can increase the leaf size of corn plants. Larger leaves improve the photosynthetic ability of maize plants.

NPK 12:12:17 fertilizer which has 12% nitrogen, 12% phosphorus and 17% potassium is also a type of NPK fertilizer that can be used for maize farming in Nigeria if other types of NPK fertilisers are not available.

Urea Fertilizer

Urea fertilizer is one of the best fertilizers for maize farming in Nigeria. I have not seen any serious maize farmer in Nigeria who does not use urea fertilizer.

Urea fertilizer contains mainly nitrogen. The nitrogen content of most urea fertilizers is 46%. Urea fertilizer ensures that your maize crop grows large leaves and also ensures that the maize crop maximizes its yield.

Urea fertilizer is soluble and can be passed through the drip irrigation system.

Diammonium Phosphate Fertilizer (DAP)

Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) is a type of fertilizer used for basal application in maize farming. Diammonium phosphate fertilizer contains nitrogen in ammonium form and phosphorus.

The total nitrogen content of diammonium phosphate fertilizer is 18%. DAP fertilizer has 15.5% ammonical nitrogen, 2.5% total nitrogen as urea and 46% phosphorus.

Diammonium phosphate fertilizer is soluble.

Single Super Phosphate Fertilizer

This is a phosphorus fertilizer. It is not commonly used for maize farming. If your soil lacks phosphorus, you can use single super phosphate fertilizer to improve the phosphorus level in your soil.

The phosphorus content in single super phosphate fertilizer is usually 7 – 9%. It has a calcium content of 18 – 21% and a sulfur content of 11 – 12%.


Humic acid, fluvic acid and potassium humate are also some of the best fertilizers you can use for maize farming in Nigeria.

Humates can improve your soil.

Other fertilizers that can be used for maize farming are:

  • Potassium Nitrate
  • Calcium Nitrate
  • Mono-Ammonium Phosphate
  • Mono Potassium Phosphate
  • CAN fertilizer
  • Lime or dolomite etc

Fertilizer Application in a Typical Maize Farm (One Hectare)

maize cultivation

2 weeks before planting

Land tillage: Plough and harrow/ridge or harrow twice or ridge depending on land condition. Wait for 2 weeks to allow for weed regrowth for good effectiveness of the pre-emergence herbicides at planting time.

At this stage, you can add rice husks, manure or any soil amendment materials to your soil to increase the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC).

At planting

Plant seeds at 75cm (inter-row spacing) by 20cm (intra-row spacing) (66,000 plants/ha), 75cm by 25cm (53,000 plants/ha)

Apply 15 bags of NPK 15:15:15 or 11 bags of NPK 20:10:10 (220 kg N / ha) or 12 bags of NPK 15:15:15 or 9 bags of 20:10:10 (180 kg N / ha).

1 week after planting

Gap filling should be done for few missing spots to ensure the right plant population and weed control done after planting should be confirmed if it was effective, areas showing weed growth should be reported at observation

4 weeks after planting:

First urea application: 2.5 bags for (220 kg N / ha) or 2 bags for (180 kg N / ha).

Ensure fertilizer is buried beside the plants to prevent wastage.

6 weeks after planting

Second urea application: 2.5 bags for (220 kg N / ha) or 2 bags for (180 kg N / ha).

All urea application should be applied from 4 weeks after planting for large acreages without splitting to maximize cost.

Potassium Humate is advised to be mixed to all fertilizers before application. All fertilisers must be buried during application.


Do you have an opinion on the best fertilizer for maize farming in Nigeria? If yes, why not let us continue the conversation in the comments’ section.

Ayo Akinfolarin

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments