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Pre-plant blended fertilizers and nitrogen topdressing for maize

Unlock Maize Potential with Balanced Fertilizer Bliss!

Pre-plant Blended Fertilizers for Maize consist of carefully blended solid granular fertilizers, including urea, calcium ammonium nitrate, potassium chloride, and others, tailored to meet the specific nutrient requirements of maize crops. Nitrogen topdressing involves applying nitrogen fertilizers like urea or calcium ammonium nitrate at a specific growth stage when maize plants have 8 to 10 fully developed leaves.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 8/9; level of use 9/9

0.3—0.5 ton/ha

Grain yield increase

30 %

N uptake increase

57 %

P uptake increase




  • Inadequate Nutrient Supply: Traditional fertilizer application methods often lead to uneven nutrient distribution, resulting in weakened root systems and reduced crop performance.

  • Suboptimal Fertilizer Application Practices: Improper dosages and application schedules of mineral fertilizers are common, leading to unsatisfactory grain yields and low profitability for farmers.

  • Environmental Losses due to Improper Nutrient Management: Inefficient nutrient application practices can lead to environmental losses, including nutrient runoff and leaching. 


  • Tailored Fertilizer Blends: Providing specific nutrient blends to address inadequate nutrient supply for healthier and more productive maize crops.
  • Precision Nutrient Application: Implementing pre-plant blended fertilizers and nitrogen topdressing for precise and efficient nutrient delivery, resulting in higher yields and reduced financial risks.
  • Environmental-Friendly Nutrient Management: Promoting responsible fertilizer use through carefully formulated blends and split applications, minimizing wastage and environmental impact.

Key points to design your business plan

This technology is beneficial for users:

Utilizing pre-plant blended fertilizers and nitrogen topdressing for maize presents a transformative opportunity to enhance crop productivity and sustainability by ensuring balanced nutrient supply and promoting efficient fertilizer use throughout the growing season.

Key considerations for integrating this technology into agricultural projects include:

  • Identifying appropriate formulations tailored to specific soil and crop requirements for a given maize-growing area.
  • Take into account delivery expenses to project sites spanning Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Zambia, alongside potential import clearance and duties.

Additionally, to optimize outcomes and maximize the benefits  consider forming partnerships with agricultural development institutes, fertilizer suppliers, agricultural service companies to provide support and associate with others technologies such as Drought tolerant maize varieties (DTMA, WEMA), Imazapyr resistant maize for Striga management (IR), Golden maize varieties (high in provitamin A), Pre-emergence herbicides for weed control.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive low
Under 18
Positive high
Positive medium

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts really well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It helps them grow and thrive
Carbon footprint
It doesn't reduce emissions at all
Soil quality
It makes the soil healthier and more fertile

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Ethiopia Not tested Adopted
Kenya Not tested Adopted
Nigeria Not tested Adopted
Rwanda Not tested Adopted
Tanzania Not tested Adopted
Zambia Not tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger
Sustainable Development Goal 12: responsible production and consumption
Goal 12: responsible production and consumption

  1. Assess Nutrient Needs: Identify nutrient deficiencies and imbalances in the specific maize growing area.

  2. Blend Fertilizers: Mix the single fertilizers using a dry rotary system based on carefully measured formulas.

  3. Application at Planting: Apply the blended fertilizer at the bottom of sowing holes by hand or planting equipment, or broadcast shortly before or after planting.

  4. Topdressing with Nitrogen: When maize crops have 8 to 10 fully developed leaves, apply urea or calcium ammonium nitrate for topdressing.

  5. Consider Foliar Spraying : For fast and efficient nutrient absorption, consider foliar spraying of liquid N fertilizer. Ensure proper application to avoid scorch and leaf damage.

  6. Timing for Topdressing: Apply the second dose of N before a rain event to move the nitrogen into the soil if using dry granules.

  7. Monitor Residual Nutrients: Account for residual nutrient stocks in soils and deficiencies in crops through visual inspection of stands.

Last updated on 22 May 2024