Open Access Original Research Article

Soil Management and Fertilizer Use Practices in Smallholder Plantain Production Systems

O. J. Ayodele, A. A. Oso

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/22910

The depletion of soil nutrients and organic matter as accentuated by the non-adoption of appropriate soil management practices is one cause of the yield decline that compels farmers to    abandon plantain orchards after two to three production cycles. Information on soil management and fertilizer use practices in plantain production systems was collected through questionnaire from 316 farmers, selected at five each from two major plantain-growing towns in the local government areas of Ekiti and Ondo States. The respondents were mainly males, 40-60 years old, married and fairly literate smallholders who intercropped False Horn and True Horn plantain cultivars with arable and tree crops. Few farmers (0.64%) identified poor soil fertility as a cause of orchard decline but 33.2% shifted from farms cultivated for five years and allowed the attendant fallows. Mulching was practiced by 45.9% of respondents and involved the use of sawdust while 35.8 and 47.2% applied fertilizer and manure to plantain respectively. Urea and NPK were the main products applied once or twice annually. Non-availability, high prices of the products and lack of nearby sales outlets affected fertilizer use. There is the need to strengthen the agricultural extension services in order to increase adoption of improved soil management practices, drive the demand for and influence access to fertilizers whose use would expand plantain output.  


Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Corn Genotypes for Resistance to Sesamia inferens

Mohammad Taqi Rabbani, Sayed Ali Yaqubi, Tahir Noor Mohammadi, Marzia Rezaie, Mostafa Ghaderian

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/26089

Corn, as the second most important cereal cultivated in Afghanistan, is subjected to numerous biotic and abiotic stresses limiting its productivity. Sesamia inferens is a polyphagous pest attacking this crop that causes severe damage and yield losses in Afghanistan. This study was conducted to evaluate the resistance to attack by Sesamia inferens of different corn landraces collected from different provinces of Afghanistan along with commercial hybrids. Evaluations for agronomical performance and resistance were done in two years under natural infestation with S. inferens. Differences among genotypes were significant for all traits. The landraces BU1, BU2, BU3 showed to be a good source of stem resistance, and the landrace BU5considered to be a suitable material to improve yield in further breeding programs. This is a preliminary evaluation and the resistance of these landraces should be corroborated under artificial infestation because earlier genotypes could get the silking stage before the occurrence of the peak of insect infestation.


Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Poultry Manure and NPK Fertilizer on Infestation of Musk Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) by Insect Pests

U. Zakka, S. R. Atijegbe

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/13257

Field experiment was conducted during the 2013 growing season at the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Port Harcourt Nigeria, to evaluate the effect of poultry manure on the infestation of Musk pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) by insect pests in the humid ecological zone of Nigeria. The study was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with 5 treatments: Poultry manure (1.25 tons/ha, 2.5 tons/ha, 5.0 tons/ha), NPK (15:15:15), (300 kg/ha) and control (no treatment) and each treatment was replicated three times. Data on days to 50% germination, leaf damage, days to 50% flowering, fruit weight, number of fruits, number of insects and types of insect, were collected. The poultry manure and inorganic fertilizer reduced the number and weight of fruit, increased leaf damage (taken three times at the 3rd, 6thand 9th week after germination) and incidence of pests. The number of fruits was between 1.33 and 2.00 with fertilizer treatment and 2.33 in the control. The number of leaves damaged ranged from 1.76 to 1.98 with fertilizer treatment and 1.55 in the control at the 3rd week while at the 6th and 9th weeks there was no significant difference. The fruit weight ranged from 1.03 to 1.90 kg with fertilizer treatment and 2.37 kg in the control. Days to 50% flowering were not significantly affected. The growth and yield of C. maxima in terms of quality, market value and quantity were higher in control plots. The number of insect pests was not significantly affected by the treatments. Insects collected during the study comprised hymenopterans, coleopterans and hemipterans. Application of organic and inorganic fertilizer intensified insect pest infestation and decreased fruit yield. It is recommended that fertilizer application may not be necessary in well managed soils, but where necessary, 2.5 tons/ha poultry manure may be a safer recommendation for the cultivation of C. maxima.


Open Access Original Research Article

Amino Acid Patterns in the Aerial Parts of Echium L. and Anchusa L. Growing in the Sand Dunes of Turkey

Tamer Özcan

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/26352

Two species species of Echium and two of Anchusa growing naturally in the sand dunes were analysed for total protein and amino acid compositions in their aerial parts. Total protein contents were detected between 7.55% (Echium italicum) and 12.97% (Anchusa officinalis). Valuable concentrations of the essential amino acids were detected in all species generally. The highest quantities of the amino acids were obtained from A. officinalis, while the lowest levels were detected in E. italicum except for aspartic acid and glutamic acid. Broad range of concentrations for leucine (544-1497 mg / 100 g) and lower levels in methionine (127-289 mg / 100 g) as essential amino acids were observed in all species. Leucine (1497 mg / 100 g), alanine (1339 mg / 100 g), phenylalanine (1016 mg / 100 g), threonine (935 mg / 100 g), proline (935 mg / 100 g), glycine (907 mg/ 100 g) and valine (859 mg / 100g) exhibited critical levels in A. Officinalis. Concentrations of some amino acids including aspartic acid, glutamic acid, phenylalanin, histidine, gycine and serine suggested discriminative patterns at generic level. Significant differences were calculated (p<0.001) in amino acid quantities of the species as additional chemotaxonomical markers. Essential amino acids were found at considerable levels compared to FAO reference values. Investigated species as alternative rich sources of essential amino acids may be evaluated as new crops which can be cultivated in saline soils and improving of the agricultural crops in the field.


Open Access Original Research Article

Growth and Yield of Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.)) as Influenced by Irrigation Interval and Variety in Sokoto Sudan Savannah, Nigeria

M. B. Sokoto, M. I. Gaya

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/25964

Field trial was conducted at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching and Research Fadama farm Sokoto during the 2015 dry season at Sokoto to determine the influence of irrigation interval and variety on the growth and yield of sweet potato in Sokoto Sudan savannah, Nigeria. Treatments consisted factorial combination of four irrigation intervals (7, 14, 21 and 28 days), two local varieties of sweet potato (Ex-Kano and Ex-Zaria) laid out in a split plot design, replicated three times. The results showed that 7 days irrigation interval significantly (P < 0.05) influence growth, yield and yield components of sweet potato. The highest numbers of leaves per plants were recorded at 7 days interval whereas 28 days interval recorded fewer number of leaves per plant. Irrigation and variety had no significant effect on Leaf area index and vine length.  Number of tubers per plant, marketable tubers and vine weight were significantly higher at 7 days irrigation interval. On the other hand, the highest number of non-marketable tubers was recorded at 28 days irrigation interval, similarly the lowest number of non-marketable tubers was produced at 7 days irrigation interval. Ex-Zaria Significantly (P < 0.05) differed from Ex-Kano with higher number of tuber per plant, Marketable tuber and tuber yield ha-1. Therefore 7 days irrigation interval and Ex-Zaria cultivar is recommended for Sokoto and other areas with similar climate.


Open Access Original Research Article

Salinity Resistance of Six Amaranth (Amaranthus sp.) Cultivars Cultivated in Benin at Germination Stage

Agapit Wouyou, Christophe Bernard Gandonou, David Montcho, Julien Kpinkoun, Eliane Kinsou, Françoise Assogba Komlan, Simplice Léopold Gnancadja

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/25892

Aims: In this study, salt resistance level of six amaranth (Amaranthus sp.) cultivars including five from Amaranthus cruentus species (AA-04-028, AA-04-017, Locale, Rouge and Red-Sudan) and one from Amaranthus graecizans species (Stem2-Sat2) cultivated in Benin was evaluated at the germination stage.

Study Design: The experiment was laid out as a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replications.

Place and Duration of Study: The experiment was carried out in the Plant Physiology.

and Abiotic Stresses Study of University of Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin from September to October 2015.

Methodology: Seeds were submitted to treatment with five NaCl concentrations (0; 30; 60; 90 and 120 mM NaCl) in petri dishes. Seed germination was checked every day during the ten days incubation period. Germination percentage was determined within 10 days incubation. Four replicates of 50 seeds each were used.

Results: From day 2 to day 10, NaCl delayed seed germination rate proportionately to NaCl concentration. Salt stress reduced the rate of germination and the germination index in all cultivars. At the end of the 10th days, salt stress significantly decreased the rate of final germination for all cultivars investigated whatever the NaCl concentrations used, except for cultivar Red Sudan and Rouge which showed a slight stimulation of germination at 30 mM NaCl. However, the NaCl stress effects on seed germination of the six cultivars were significantly variable. The average reduction due to NaCl stress was 22.11%; 20.90%; 17.28%; 15.58%; 8.03% and 6.57% for AA-04-017, AA-04-028, Rouge, Locale, Stem2-Sat2 and Red-Sudan, respectively.

Conclusion: NaCl stress delayed seed germination and reduced the germination index and the rate of final germination. Among the six cultivars, Red-Sudan appeared to be the most salt resistant. For the first time, we demonstrated that there is a variability of relative salt-stress resistance among Amaranthus cruentus cultivars at germination stage.