Open Access Original Research Article

Different Agronet Covers Influence Physiological Traits, Growth and Yield of African Nightshade (Solanum scabrum Mill.) and Spiderplant (Cleome gynandra L.)

Obel Hesbon Ochieng, Arnold M. Opiyo, Mwanarusi Saidi

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/32620

African indigenous leafy vegetables (AILVs) contribute significantly to improved nutrition, food security and income. However, the potential to meet the growing demand for AILVs in Kenya has not been satisfied. This study was conducted between August, 2015 and April, 2016 to evaluate the effect of different agronet colours on growth and yield of African nightshade and spiderplants The experiment was a 2x5 factorial laid on a randomized complete block design (RCBD), with three replications. Factors under study were vegetable types (African nightshade and spiderplant) and net covers (white, grey, blue, yellow net and open field). Spiderplant seeds were direct seeded and later thinned to a spacing of 30 cm by 30 cm. African nightshade seeds were started in the nursery and later transplanted five weeks after sowing. From the 7th weeks after planting (WAP) and at two weeks interval, plant height, primary branches, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll and leaf fresh yield were determined. Use of blue net significantly yielded taller plants of African nightshade (29.6%) compared to those in the open field by 13 WAP. Spiderplant were taller under white net (20.7%) and shorter under blue net (20.95%) compared to open field by 13 WAP. Yellow and white net enhanced primary branching of African nightshade and spiderplant, respectively while blue net exhibited the least for both vegetables. Days to first and 50% flowering was delayed under blue net by 13 and 6 days compared to control for spiderplant and African nightshade, respectively. Yellow and white net improved stomatal conductance for African nightshade and spiderplant, respectively. Regarding chlorophyll content, yellow and blue net had the highest concentration of chlorophyll a and b for both vegetables. Use of yellow net improved total fresh leaf yield by 15.82% and 12.42% compared to open field for African nightshade and spiderplant, respectively. Blue net significantly reduced total yield compared to open field for both vegetables. This study shows blue net cover has the potential to prolong the vegetative phase of these crops hence longer harvesting time of these crops and that yellow net has a greater potential to be used for production of African nightshade and spiderplant. However, a cost benefit analysis study should be done to assess the beneficial effect of yellow net over open field.

Open Access Original Research Article

Host Efficiency of Scutellonema bradys in Yam Companion Crops in Nigeria

O. A. Kayode, A. O. Claudius-Cole

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/33086

Aim: Fourteen plants associated with the cultivation of yam in Nigeria were assessed for host suitability to S. bradys.

Methodology: Cowpea, cassava, eggplant, fluted pumpkin, melon, maize, hot pepper, okra, water leaf, Mexican sunflower, tridax, peuro, and siam weed were inoculated with 5000 S. bradys individuals in sterilized or unsterilized soil. The experiment was a 3 x 14 factorial, laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Data were analyzed using ANOVA and means were separated using Fishers Least Significant Difference (LSD) at 5% level of probability.

Results: Based on the number of S. bradys recovered from the soil and root symptoms, cowpea and yam were found to be good hosts to S. bradys with reproductive factor ≥ 2,  while fluted pumpkin, okra, melon and eggplant were moderate hosts with reproductive factor ≥ 1. Maize, puero, hot pepper, waterleaf, Mexican sunflower, siam weed were non-host to S. bradys with reproductive factor ≤ 1. 

Conclusion: maize, puero and hot pepper are non hosts of S. bradys and could be intercropped with yam to reduce nematode populations and help to minimizing to the use of nematicides for S. bradys management in the yam cropping systems.

Open Access Original Research Article

Tillage and Rice Straw Management Affect Soil Enzyme Activities and Chemical Properties after Three Years of Conservation Agriculture Based Rice-wheat System in North-Western India

Sushil Kumar Kharia, H. S. Thind, Sandeep Sharma, H. S. Sidhu, M. L. Jat, Yadvinder Singh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/33494

Aims: To evaluate the effects of rice establishment, tillage and rice straw management on changes in soil enzyme activities and chemical properties in soil after three cycles of continuous rice-wheat system.

Study Design: The experiment was laid in split plot design with three replications.

Place and Duration of Study: PAU, Ludhiana, 2010-2013.

Methodology: The experiment was started during kharif season of 2010. The design of an experiment was having 12 treatments with 3 replications. The main plot treatments in rice (zero till direct seeded rice, ZT-DSR; conventional till direct seeded rice, CT-DSR; zero till direct transplanted rice, ZT-DTR and puddled transplanted rice, PTR) and three sub-plot treatments in wheat (conventional till wheat without rice straw, CTW-R; ZT wheat without rice straw, ZTW-R, and ZT wheat with rice straw retained as surface mulch using Happy Seeder, ZTW+R).

Results: Zero tillage with rice straw retention (ZTW) as surface mulch (+R) increased wheat yield by 9% and 15% compared with conventional tillage (CTW) and ZTW with no residue (-R). Significantly higher dehydrogenase, fluorescein diacetate, alkaline phosphatase, phytase and urease activities were recorded under ZTW+R compared with ZTW/CTW-R in 0-5 cm soil layer. Organic carbon, Olsen-P, available K and DTPA-extractable micronutrients (Zn, Fe, Mn and Cu) in the surface 0-5 cm soil layer were significantly higher in ZTW+R compared with ZTW/CTW-R. Soil enzyme activities were significantly and positively correlated with each other, soil organic carbon, Olsen-P and grain yield of wheat.

Conclusion: We concluded that RCTs (ZTW and rice residue retention) improve soil enzyme activities and chemical properties in surface 0-5 cm soil layer and enhance productivity and sustainability of rice-wheat system.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Tropical Legumes on Soil Nutrient Dynamics and its Consequence on Rice Production

Y. M. Ramesha, Manjunatha Bhanuvally, Ashok Kumar Gaddi, S. A. Biradar, M. R. Umesh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/32514

Background and Scope: In Tungabhadra command area of Karnataka, India, soil productivity and yield of crops is declining year after year due to continues flood irrigation for rice and farmers are practicing only mono-cropping (rice-rice) so that possibility of accumulation of salts in the soil leads to salinity and reduction in the soil productivity. To overcome these problems, we hypothesized that growing tropical legumes in paddy fallow during summer and incorporation of these tropical legumes in to soil to improve the soil productivity therefore improving the soil nutrient dynamics and conserve soil organic carbon content that would result in higher grain yield of rice.

Conclusion: Overall, the soil nutrient status was improved and increased the yield of succeeding crop rice when incorporating the tropical legumes in to soil. Our results suggested that, growing leguminous plants during summer in paddy fallow and incorporated after two months, this improved the soil nutrient status and offcourse, increases the yield of succeeding crop of rice.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Seed Quality in Naturally Aged Seed Lots of Coriander

Vinod Kumar, T. P. Malik, S. K. Tehlan, Amit Kumar

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/32722

Three seed lots of fifteen genotypes of coriander were subjected to study the effect of natural ageing on different seed quality parameters. Results revealed that all the genotypes showed the germination percentage above the Minimum Seed Certification Standards (65%) in Lot-1 (freshly harvested seed) and Lot-2 (1 year old seed). Standard germination (%), seedling length (cm), seedling dry weight (mg), seedling vigor index-I & II and accelerated ageing test (%) revealed that quality of seeds declined with faster rate inLot-3 (2 years old seed). Among all the genotypes, maximum germination was retained by genotype DH-339 (75.5%) followed by Hisar Surbhi (74.5%) and maximum loss of germination was observed in genotype DH 352-1 (61.2%). Hence, the genotypes DH-339 and Hisar Surbhi were found superior in terms of viability, vigor and storability whereas genotype DH 352-1 was found poor under ambient conditions.