Open Access Original Research Article

Short-term Evaluation of Some Indigenous Legumes as Green Manures or Components of Rice-based Relay Intercropping Systems and Their Effect on Residual Soil Properties in the Rainforest Zone of Nigeria

Binang, Walter Bisong, Ekpenyong, Onoyom Ekpenyong, Uko, Aniefiok Effiong

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2018/45227

Aim: To evaluate the potentials of some legumes as in situ green manures or components of relay intercropping with direct-seeded upland rice, and to assess the effect of incorporating their biomass into the soil on residual soil properties.

Study Design: The treatments were laid out in randomised complete block design, replicated three times.

Methodology: Some indigenous legumes were used as green manures or as components of upland rice-based cropping systems to assess their effect on the performance of rice and on  residual soil properties in the rainforest region of Nigeria. Mucuna pruriensVigna sinensisVigna subterranea, Vigna unguiculata ; (var Ife BPC and Ife Brown), Sphenostylis stenocarpa  were either incorporated in situ into the soil as green manure at 8weeks after sowing  or relay-intercropped with NERICA 2 rice giving a total of 16 treatments.

Results: Significantly higher number of panicles/plant, grain and straw yield were obtained with sole, than with green manuring and relay cropping in the first cropping season, but in the second season, cowpea and mucuna bean green manures gave the same outcomes. The residual soil N accumulated during a two consecutive-year green manuring programme with either cowpea or mucuna bean was sufficient to produce a rice yield equivalent to the split application of 60 kg N/ha. Intercropping reduced rice grain yield by between 5.4 and 47.0 %, with cowpea (Ife brown)/Rice system performing best.

Conclusion: In the short-term, leguminous crop species especially those with determinate growth habit and lower carbon to nitrogen ratio can be integrated into upland rice-based cropping systems in the rainforest region of Nigeria as intercrops, but preferably as green manure crops.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Piper guineense Seed Crude Flavonoids for Attractant Activity Using Prostephanus truncatus (Larger Grain Borer)

Valentine C. Mbatchou, V. Ghafa, Emmanuel Muluh Khan

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2018/21693

Background: There are increasing needs for natural ways to control the population of larger grain borer (LGB), since the use of synthetic pesticides has resulted to disastrous effects on both the environment and non-target organisms. This has been a major concern to chemical ecologists for the past years.

Objective: This work seeks to determine whether LGB, a storage pest of Zea maize, Manihot esculenta and Theobroma cacao is attracted to Piper guineense seed crude flavonoids or not. If LGB is attracted to crude flavonoids of P. guineense seeds, then crude flavonoids could be used in baited traps to control or manage the population of LGBs.

Method: Bound and sugar free flavonoids were extracted from Piper guineense seeds by treating powdered seeds in methanol (80%), n-hexane to eliminate fatty components, and dissolving in diethyl ether-ethyl acetate solvent blend (1:1), followed by refluxing ethyl acetate fraction in sulphuric acid (7%). Concentrations of bound and sugar free flavonoids, lemon juice and blends (0.0, 0.1, 0.4, 1.0, and 1.4% w/w) were analyzed for attractant activity in a Y-glass tube experiment.

Results and Conclusion: Bound and sugar free flavonoids attracted LGBs, revealing potentials of attractants, and could be used in baited traps to control or manage the population of LGBs. Lemon juice antagonized the attractant activity of both bound and sugar free flavonoids.


Open Access Original Research Article

Input Use Efficiency of Cocoa Production among Small Scale Farmers in Ondo State

T. M. Orisasona, O. Taiwo, E. E. O. Agbebaku, K. A. Oluyole, O. A. Williams, I. F. Abdulkarim

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2018/26814

The study is on the analysis of the input use efficiency of cocoa production among small scale farmers in Ondo State, Nigeria. The primary objective was to analyze the input use efficiency of cocoa production among small scale farmers in four Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Ondo State. Primary data were collected using the multistage sampling techniques with the aid of structured questionnaire. The descriptive and inferential (Cobb-douglasStochastic Frontier Model) statistical tool of analysis was used to analyze the 120 respondents collected. The result of the analysis shows that majority of the farmers are male and are between the age 41-50 years. Majority (76.7%) is married and most of them (44.2%) had formal education. Furthermore, the study reveals that most of the farmers (32.5%) had between 21-30 years of farming experience and had between 3-4 hectares of cocoa plantation. Inputs that are found to be statistically significant at 1% level of significance to cocoa production are labour, chemicals and farm tools as well as farm size. However, fertilizer was found significant but has an inverse relationship with cocoa production. The elasticity of production was found to be 1.2134 indicating that the farmers are under-utilizing the inputs necessary for cocoa production. It was recommended that the use of variable inputs should be increased for optimal level of cocoa output. Also, inputs should be made readily available to farmers by the government at a cheaper and accessible way and extension services from relevant agencies like ADP and the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria should be intensified.

Open Access Short communication

Enhancing the Yield Characteristics of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) at Different Organo-mineral Fertilizer Rates

J. D. Ntia, F. A. Nwagwu, J. O. Shiyam

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2018/36651

A field fertilizer trial on groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) was conducted in 2014/2015  cropping season at the Crop Research Farm of the Department of Crop Science, University of Calabar, Calabar,  Nigeria (04º 5’E and 07º 25’E., 37 meters above sea level) located in the coastal Cross River high rainforest. Groundnut performance was evaluated using four rates of Jonkerorgano-mineral fertilizer (OMF) at 0, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 t ha-1 in randomized complete block (RCB) design in four replications. Result obtained showed that organo-mineral fertilized had favourable effect on groundnut and produced significantly (p ≤ 0.05) highest fresh pod weight (491.5 gplot-1), shelling percentage (72.89%), 100-seed weight (92.89 g), seed yieldplot-1 (246.78 gplot-1) and seed yield (2.80 tha-1) at 3.0 t OMF ha-1. This level of fertilizer could be adequate for increased groundnut yield and should be adopted by farmers in the study area.

Open Access Review Article

A Review of the Role of Anthropogenic Effects on Microorganisms in Soil

Wanjala M. Paul, Odokuma Lucky O., Rose C. Ramkat, Etela I.

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2018/44994

Anthropogenic activities are progressively releasing pollutants to the soil, including heavy metals and other pollutants emanating from industries and overpopulated human settlements. Pollution by heavy metals and other physicochemical materials is gradually becoming an area of concern, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper reviews the effects of anthropogenic activities on soil ecosystem integrity including physicochemical parameters as well as biological parameters in the soil. The review focuses on impact of the application of fertilisers in soil and seasonal influence in levels of physicochemical parameters in soil ecosystem as well as microorganism population shifts in soils affected by pollution as a need to alleviate soil contamination. The review established gaps to further understanding of the relationship between soil physicochemical parameters, soil biological parameters and influence of seasonality in the resilience of the soil ecosystem as a way to foster the integrity of soil.