The adaptability to the rain forest ecology and resistance to the Telfaria Mosaic Virus (TeMV) of seven (7) hybrid lines and a local cultivar of Telfaria occidentalis were evaluated in Esierebom, Calabar and Uyo in 2014 and 2015 vegetable growing seasons. Hybrid lines of T. occidentalis were screened for resistance to TeMV and adaptability to the rainforest ecology using growth and reproductive performance after inoculation. Data for growth performance was taken fortnightly while data for reproductive performance were taken at maturity. Data generated were collated and analysed for significant (P<0.05) differences at 5% level of probability according to the analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures. The results shows that the order of performance and resistance to the virus was EN 2000-19 > EN 2000-6 > EN 2000 – 17 > EN 2000- 9 > EN 2000-1 > EN 2000-24 >EN 2000-X > ‘Edem Ubong’. The results reveal significant (P<0.05) differences among hybrids lines and local cultivar for number of primary branches per plant. Biomass weight (kg), vine length (m) and Leaf area (cm²) also differed (p<0.05) significantly among the hybrid lines and local cultivar. Results showed that the lines EN 2000-19, EN 2000-17 and EN 2000-6 were highly adapted to the rainforest ecology with significant (P<0.05) higher differences in lengths of vines, leaf area, number of branches per plant and number of leaves per plant. EN 2000-24, ‘Edem Ubong’, EN 2000-x and EN 2000-1 all showed least adaptability with significant (P<0.05) low differences in vine lengths, number of primary and secondary branches per plant, number of leaves per plant and leaf area. Results of lines resistance to TeMV showed that the cultivars, EN 2000-1, ‘Edem Ubong’, EN 2000-X and EN 2000-24 were highly susceptible to the virus with resultant low growth and reproductive performance while the lines EN 2000-19, EN 2000-17 and EN 2000-9 showed high resistance to the virus through high growth and reproductive performance. Adaptable and highly resistance lines of T. occidentalis can be harness for the purpose of increasing the yield of the vegetable in this agro-ecology using marker assisted selection for maintaining stability of hybrid lines after segregation in subsequent generations.
Field experiments were conducted in late 2013 and 2014 cowpea cropping seasons in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture. Umudike, to assess the efficacy of leaf extracts of Gmelina arborea, Chromoleana odorata and Anacardium occidentale in the control of anthracnose disease of cowpeas induced by Collectotrichum lindermuthianum and to assess the yield performance of the crop. The study was designed to evaluate the effects of the different plant extracts on the disease development, growth and yield performance of cowpea inoculated with anthracnose pathogen, with a view to identifying the most effective extract that can be used in the control of the disease. Seeds of cowpea (Ife Brown) disinfected and inoculated with spores of Colletotrichum lindemuthiamum were used for the study. The field trial was a three factor experiment, (leaf extracts, seed inoculation and seed disinfection) designed in randomized complete block design and replicated three times. Cowpea was spaced at 0.5 m x 0.75 m and sown in plots measuring 3 m x 3 m. Data were collected fortnightly for yield traits performance such as grain yield (kg/ha), number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, pod length (cm), 100-seed weight (g) and percent yield losses. Data generated from the study were subjected to statistical analysis using enhanced Genstat Software for Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the Fisher’s LSD mean separation. Results of data analysis showed that significant (P<0.05) differences existed among the leave extracts used as treatments. Results on disease development showed that disease incidences of anthracnose recorded for cowpea were 71.03% and 18.06% for control and C. odorata treated plots respectively. The disease severity indices of 7.17 and 0.59 were recorded for the control and A. occidentale extract sprayed plots, respectively. Results on yield traits performance showed significant (P<0.05) differences in the effect of the different plant extracts evaluated. Highest grain yield of 68.18 kg/plot was recorded on Anacardium occidentale extract treated plots. Number of seeds per pod was 11.17 for Chromoleana odorata with higher yield loss of 66.99% in the control plot. Plots sprayed with benomyl yield loss were 22.39%, while plots sprayed with A. occidentale yield loss was 31.83%. Plots sprayed with leaf extracts of C. odorata recorded yield losses of 42.81%. Percent yield of cowpea was 43.24% in plots sprayed with leaf extracts of G. arborea. The order of efficacy of leave extracts was Benomyl > Anacardium occidentale > Chromoleana odorata > Gmelina arborea > Control. Hence, it is recommended that farmers should use leaf extracts of Anacardium occidentale to reduce yield losses from anthracnose infested cowpea and for high yield performance and control of cowpea Anthracnose disease in South Eastern Nigeria.
Six on-farm experiments were conducted in 2013/2014 seasons, in the Central Highlands (CHLs) of Ethiopia, with the main aim of estimating optimum sulfur rate for wheat. The treatments were, 4-levels of S(S0 =0, S1 =5, S2 =10, and S3 =20 kg S/ha); 2-levels of N(N0 =0, N =N1 =69 kg N/ha); and 2-levels of P(P0 =0, P =P1 =20 kg P/ha), supplied by gypsum, urea and triple super phosphate(TSP), respectively. The experimental design was RCBD, and the treatments were replicated three times. The grain and total above ground biomass (TAGB) yields, and number of tillers per plant (NTsPP) showed significant response (P<0.001) with applying S and NP. Four of the study sites: G/Silingo, Keteba, N/Suba and Bekejo showed significant response to applied fertilizers, especially S at all levels, whereas W/Gora and B/Tokofa showed marginal response, which suggested that, responses to S were varied over sites/soils. Considering the critical, soil SO4-S, estimated from the first set of (18 S response) experiments, 11.30 mg/kg, the sites like Keteba, Bekejo and N/Suba could be rated as very low; G/Silingo medium/marginal; whereas W/Gora and B/Tokofa could be rated adequate for SO4-S(sulfur). Based on this, therefore, site/soil specific S recommendations were made. In this respect, in Keteba, Bekejo and N/Suba sites with very low initial soil SO4-S values, the optimum S rate can be >20 kg/ha. But, for the moment, it is advisable to apply 20 kg S/ha with the recommended doses of NP. At G/Silingo site, whose soils tested marginal for the SO4-S, applying S at a rate of 20 kg/ha or even slightly <20 kg/ka is advisable. Whereas, at W/Gora and B/Tokofa, since the initial soils tested adequate for SO4-S, but wheat responded to S at lower levels, applying S at a rate of 5-10 kg/ha is reasonable. In general, since in all the studied sites, the maximum attainable yield of wheat grain reported by different workers was not achieved, it is important to make further investigations to identify other limiting nutrients/factors.
Soils in the Guinea Savanna Agro-ecological zone of Ghana are inherently low in fertility, especially nitrogen. Furthermore, organic matter is very low as a result of total removal of crop residue followed by animal grazing and annual phenomenal bush burning. This has led to a reduction in soil carbon content and poor soil C:N ratio. With increase crop production, soils are amended with mineral fertilizer in most cases. In order to improve the soil carbon stocks and determine its losses in the soil, many studies have been conducted on the use of both inorganic and organic fertilizers as soil amendments and their impact on soil carbon partitioning. However, in the Guinea Savanna Agro-ecological zone of Ghana, there is paucity of information on the effects of mineral fertilizers on soil carbon emissions. Also, there are few reports of CO2 flux from soils in the Guinea Savanna agro-ecological zone of Ghana. Furthermore, there is lack of research information on the influence of hydrothermal conditions on carbon stocks in the study area. This study, sought to investigate the influence of soil-water-temperature and application of mineral N fertilizers on CO2 emissions in the Guinea Savanna agro-ecological zone of Ghana. It further determined soil CO2 emissions released per maize grain produced. It was conducted on Ferric Luvisols in the Tolon District of the Northern region of Ghana to determine the influence of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizers and soil-temperature-water and chemical characteristics of the soil on CO2 emissions. The treatments consisted of three sources of N fertilizers: urea(U), sulphate of ammonia(SA) at 60 and 120 kg ha-1 yr-1 each and 60 kg N ha -1 yr-1 and a control(N0) arranged in a randomized completely block design replicated thrice. Omankwa, a maize cultivar, was the test crop. A plot was left without mineral N application and was used as the control. The results of the study showed that, plots of NPK 60-40-40, U 120, SA 60 and U 60 kg N ha-1 yr-1 emitted 2 to 5 times less CO2 flux compared to plots of SA 120. Additionally, application of NPK 60-40-40 kg ha-1 yr-1, SA 60 and U120 kg N ha-1 yr-1 resulted in the release of 0.9 kg CO2-C kg-1 grain emitted which was significantly higher than plots that received no mineral fertilizer. This study, therefore, concludes that although N fertilizer type and quantities applied affected CO2 emissions significantly, it was not enough to cause global warming.
The study was designed to investigate the response of broiler chickens to diets containing levels of Limicolaria aurora meal as replacement for fish meal. The experiment involved five treatments with three replicates per treatment in a Completely Randomized Design, and was carried out in the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Calabar, Nigeria, between July, 2014 and Sept., 2014. A total of three hundred, one week old unsexed broiler chicks were randomly allotted to five dietary treatments consisting of three replicates of 20 birds each. Five experimental diets were formulated such that the control diet (Treatment 1 (T1)) contained 4% fish meal (FM), which was replaced with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of Limicolaria aurora meal for other treatments: T2, T3, T4 and T5 respectively. After 21 days of feeding the experimental (starter) diet, two hundred and forty of the birds were re-randomized and alloted to 5 finisher diet treatments, each with three replicates, and the same levels of replacement of FM with LM. The results of the proximate composition showed that ash content was higher in FM (14.39) than in LM (7.83), while ether extract content in LM (7.00) was higher than in fishmeal FM (5.11). Crude protein and crude fiber contents of LM and FM were not statistically different between treatments. Only crude fibre utilization showed significant (P=0.05) increase as the level of LM in the diet increased. Feed intake at both the starter and finisher phases did not differ significantly between diet groups. The final body weight, weight gain and feed conversion ratio were significantly (P=.05) superior at 50% replacement level, while differences between these parameters at the 50%, 75% and 100% replacement levels were not statistically significant. The results indicate that significantly (P=.05) lower performances in respect of the above parameters were observed in broilers in the control and the 25% replacement diet groups. The abdominal fat deposit did not differ across the treatment groups. Cost of feed per kg and cost of feed per kg weight gain (N) increased significantly as the level of LM increased in the diet. It was concluded that LM can replace FM in broiler chickens diet at the 50% replacement level with lower feed cost and improved growth performance.