Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Organic and Inorganic Soil Amendments on Soil pH and Macronutrients

E. K. Kago, Z. M. Kinyua, J. M. Maingi, P. O. Okemo

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/jaeri/2019/v18i430064

The popularity of using the Inorganic and organic soil amendments is based on the current status of soil degradation that led to  decline in  fertility  of soils, resulting to low yields. The objective of current study was to evalute different  organic and inorganic  soil amendments  and their effects on soil pH and macronutrients. The study was laid out as randomized complete block design (RCBD) in split plot arrangement for two seasons. The treatments were ChalimTM, Super-hydro-grow polymer + Metham sodium, Metham sodium, Metham sodium & Orange peel, Super-hydro-grow polymer, Brassica tissues, ChalimTM + Super-hydro-grow polymer, Brassica tissue + Orange peel, Metham sodium + Super-hydro-grow polymer and Control (no amendments).  Soils were sampled from each experimental site, dried and taken to laboratories for determination of soil chemical properties both at initial and at the end of the experiment. The soil physicochemical attributes assessed included: Soil pH, nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, potassium and calcium. There was an significant increase (P≤0.05) in the concentration and availability of soil physicochemical characteristics after treatment which is an indicator of improved soil structure. Brassicae tissue +super hydrogrow polymer (BT+SHG) amendment was the best as it resulted to highest concentration   and availability of the mineral elements in the soil recording total nitrogen of 0.50 %, organic carbon 5.47 %, phosphorus 19.7 mg/kg, and potassium 1.37 %. The control exhibited the least impact on all the soil chemical properties. We recommend BT+SHG amendment to farmers to promote soil fertility which will consequently produce better yield.

Open Access Original Research Article

Fatty Acid Composition of Seed Oil from Pachira aquatica Grown in Nigeria

Afolayan S. Sunday, Igbum O. Gillian, Igoli O. John

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/jaeri/2019/v18i430065

The relative composition of the fatty acids in Pachira aquatica seed oil were determined using GC-MS and 1H NMR. The results obtained from GC-MS and 1H NMR show that the oil contained saturated fatty acids (>67%), oleic acid (>18%), linoleic (>3%) and linolenic acid (≤0.01%). 1H NMR gave more reliable and reproducible results.

Open Access Original Research Article

Insect Pest Diversity and Damage Assessment in Field Grown Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench) in the Coastal Savannah Agro-ecological Zone of Ghana

Frederick Boateng, Samuel Amiteye, Andrew Sarkodie Appiah, Dinah Marri, Benjamin Kwasi Offei, Selorm Enoch Kofi Ofori, Harry Amoatey

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/jaeri/2019/v18i430066

Aims: The specific objectives of this study were: to identify the diversity of insect species associated with ten okra cultivars, and to assess the abundance of the insect species and the extent of leaf damage during vegetative, flowering and fruiting stages of ten okra cultivars under field conditions.

Study Design:  The experimental treatments were deployed in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), replicated four times.

Place and Duration of Study: The research was conducted at Nuclear Agriculture Research Center (NARC) farms and the laboratories of Radiation Entomology and Pest Management Center (REPMC) of Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), between July 2017 and March 2018. The study area is located at Kwabenya, Accra on latitude 5º40' N, longitude 0º13' W with Ochrosol (Ferric Acrisol) soil type, derived from quartzite Schist.

Methodology: Plant materials used for the study consisted of five local and five exotic okra cultivars. The local cultivars were Asutem (AS), Togo (TG), Labadi dwarf (LD), Kwab (K1) and Adom (AD). These were obtained from the market (Asamankese and Dome) and okra farmers’ fields. The exotic cultivars were Lucky 19F1 (LF1), F1 Kirene (F1K), F1 Sahari (F1S), Kirikou F1 (KF1) and Clemson Spineless (CS). These cultivars were obtained from a commercial seed shop, Technisem, Accra. Land preparation of the research site involved plowing and harrowing. The prepared land was lined and pegged into 40 plots using a Randomized Complete Block Design with four replications. Each replicate measured 35 m x 7 m and separated by 2 m from each other with 10 subplots within a block. Each subplot measured 3 m x 3 m and spaced from one another by 1 m. The total size of the experimental area was 646 m2. The okra seeds were manually sown to a depth of 2 cm directly at a spacing of 0.50 m x 0.60 m. Four seeds per hill were sown and later thinned to one seedling per hill after emergence. Field management practices such as weed control and watering were done as and when required.  Data on insects were collected from five okra plants randomly selected from the middle rows. Okra leaves were carefully examined by observing both the abaxial and adaxial surfaces. Insects found on the surfaces of the leaves were identified, counted manually and recorded as either major or minor based on their incidence pattern. Data was taken daily because the ten cultivars have different vegetative, flowering and fruiting dates. Insects were counted between the hours of 6.00 am and 8.00 am when they are inactive and cannot fly. In order to determine the extent of leaf damage, the following described scoring scale was designed for this work. Leaf damage was determined by counting the total number of perforations created by the insects in all leaves found on the five randomly selected test plants. This was then divided by the total number of leaves on the five selected test plants to obtain the average number of perforations per leaf. Leaves were visually assessed and scored for severity of damage using a damage rating where; 1 very mild damage (1 to 15 perforations); 2 mild damage (16 to 30 perforations); 3 moderately severe damage (31 to 45 perforations); 4 very severe damage (46 to 60 perforations); 5 extremely severe damage (more than 60 perforations).

Results: A total of thirteen insect pests belonging to six orders (Coleoptera, Homoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera and Mantodea), and thirteen families Chrysomelidae, Coccinellidae, Pyrgomorphidae, Meloidae, Noctuidae, Nolidae, Cicadellidae, Aleyrodidae, Aphididae, Pseudococcidae, Mantidae, Formicidae and Acrididae) were found to be abundant in the field. Among these, the highest number of insect species belonged to Homoptera group viz., Green Peach Aphid (Myzus persicae) Okra leafhopper (Amrasca biguttula), Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), and striped mealybug (Ferrisia virgata) followed by Coleoptera (Flea beetle (Podagrica sp.) and Ladybird beetle (Cheilomenes lunata). On the vegetative stage of the okra, Flea beetle had the highest number on Lucky 19F1 (36.00±9.66 insects/plant). During the flowering stage, plants of L-19F1 had the highest mean number of Flea beetles (32.25±10.30 insects/plant). On the fruiting stage, plants of LD had the highest mean abundance of flea beetles (47.50±13.53 per plant).

Conclusion: A total of 1,439 insects were recorded at the fruiting stage which was significantly higher than the flowering (855) and vegetative stages (693). Mean Whitefly counts were relatively low at the vegetative, flowering and fruiting stages of the cultivars. However, Flea beetle (Podagrica sp.) and Green Peach aphids (Myzus persicae) mean numbers increased progressively throughout all the stages. In the present study, the severity of leaf damage was significantly higher at the fruiting stage compared with the flowering and vegetative stages. Plants of cultivars LD and AS were the most promising recording the least leaf damage (111.95) and (119.10) respectively.

Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Elemental Sulphur, Oxalic Acid, and Phosphoric Acid as Acidulating Agents on Phosphorous Dissolution from Rock Phosphate

Fidelis W. Githua, Winnie Ntinyari, Nicholas K. Korir, Joseph P. Gweyi-Onyango

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/jaeri/2019/v18i430067

Phosphorous is a limiting mineral element in crop productivity due to its less availability and fixed form in the soil. Due to its agricultural benefit, most farmers seek for alternative method to supply phosphorous in sufficient amount in the farming systems. Although the soluble P is relatively expensive for the peasant farmers, rock phosphate has proved to be quite efficient due to availability among the small scale holders. However, rock phosphate is faced with insolubility challenges hence is not readily available in the soils to promote crop growth.  Therefore, this study sought to establish the influence of various acidulating agents in dissolution of phosphorus in to rock phosphate. The study was carried out in a laboratory environment in Completely Randomized Design consisting of the following treatment: control (bare soil); Mijingu Rock Phosphte (MRP) and soil; MRP, soil and oxalic acid; MRP, soil and phosphoric acid; phosphoric acid and soil; MRP, soil and elemental sulphur and replicated three times. The incubation period was 90 days and the phosphorous dissolution rate was measured at interval of 30 days. The result revealed that the treatments had significant (P≤0.05) influence on the dissolution of the phosphorus from both rock phosphate and soil. Elemental sulphur was superior in increasing the rate of phosphorus dissolution form rock phosphate.  At 30 days, elemental sulphur had elicited release of a total of 37.5 ppm phosphorus while the control had the least, recording 5.37 ppm. A similar trend was observed in both 60 and 90 days. Regression analysis also exhibited positive relationship between the acidulating agents and the phosphorous dissolution rate from the rock phosphate. Therefore, elemental sulphur can be recommended to be used by in agricultural fields to enhanced solubilisation of rock phosphate and enhance supply of phosphorous.

Open Access Original Research Article

Socio-economic Factors Influencing Utilization of Forest Resources at Odoba Forest Reserve, Benue State, Nigeria

S. A. Shomkegh, P. U. Ancha, P. Onuche

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/jaeri/2019/v18i430068

Forest resource utilization poses a challenge to the balance between fragile ecosystems and impoverished populations. As population increases, the demand for forest resources and the resultant degradation are expected to increase. This study investigated the factors influencing utilization of forest resources in Odoba forest reserve. Probit regression model was used to assess the factors influencing utilization of forest resources in the reserve. Data was collected from 376 households using semi-structured questionnaire. The result of analysis shows that Age (β=0.006, (p<0.01), marital status (β = 0.157, p>0.05), household size (β=0.044, p<0.05) and years of residence (β=0.009, p<0.01) had positive significant influence on utilization of forest resources. However, education (β= -0.002, p<0.01) and income level (β= -7.69, p<0.01) had negative significant influence on utilization of forest resources from the reserve. There is need to invest in sensitization and training of households on commodity value chains which can boost income and reduce dependence on forests. Secondly, there is need for provision of low interest credit facilities to households for crop intensification. This will ensure that households have increased food supply and also increased crop residue to use as fuel wood instead of relying on the forests all-year-round as well as reducing expansion of agricultural land into forest demarcated areas. Youth and women development enterprise fund should be created by the government and made accessible as a positive approach towards development. Diversification of activities that can help generate income should be encouraged to avoid reliance on forest resources.