Open Access Original Research Article

Characterization, Suitability Evaluation and Soil Quality Assessment of Three Soils of Sedimentary Formation for Sustainable Crop Production

O. D. Adeyolanu, K. S. Are, A. O. Adelana, O. A. Denton, G. A. Oluwatosin

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/31943

Inadequate information on the status of agricultural lands can lead to misuse, mismanagement and degradation. Hence, the need for proper assessment methods for effective land management and sustainable production. This study was set out to characterize, conduct suitability evaluation and soil quality assessment of some soils under sedimentary formation.

The study was carried out on agricultural land within Obafemi Owode Local government, Ogun state. The soils were classified; suitability evaluation was carried out for tree (oil palm and cacao) and arable (maize and cassava) crops using parametric approach and soil quality assessed by soil management assessment framework.

Soils encountered at the study site include Ibeshe (Typic Kanhaplustalf), Ipaja (Rhodic Kandiusalf) and Agege (Typic Kandiustalf) Series. The soils which have moderate to high quality are marginally to moderately suitable for both tree and arable crops. Limitations to suitability include nutrient availability, nutrient retention, climate and soil physical characteristics.

Despite having high quality, the soils may not be highly sustainable for crop production except with good management. Therefore, there is need for organic matter build up and management for sustainable crop production.

Open Access Original Research Article

Response of Golden Torch (Heliconia psittacorum × spathocircinata) to Pre-emergence Herbicides (Primextra Gold® and Gardoprim A®) and Their Effectiveness on Weed Control

A. S. Aladesae, O. O. Oni, S. Omovbude, U. E. Udensi

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/30527

Field experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Port Harcourt in 2012 to evaluate the response of Golden Torch (Heliconia (psittacorum × spathocircinata) and weeds to Primextra-Gold ® (Atrazine 370 g/l + Metolachlor 290 g/LSC and Gardoprim A®   (Terbutylazine 250 g/l + Atrazine 250 g/l)]. The experimental design was split plot with 3 replicates. The herbicides was applied pre-emergence/pre-plant and planting was done at 0, 4, 8, 12 and 16 days as the main plot, while herbicide dose (0, Primextra Gold® at 4.5 L/ha and Gardoprim A at 6.0 L/ha) was the sub plot. Growth parameters of Golden Torch assessed at 12 weeks after transplanting (WAT) were: sprouting, plant height, leaf area and number of leaves while the weed parameters evaluated were: density and dry biomass. Result showed that the treatments significantly (P <  0.05) affected weed growth with mean weed density averaging: 29, 48 and 162 weeds/m2 for   Primextra Gold® , Gardoprim A® and untreated control respectively. Weed biomass reduction was in order of, Primextra Gold® (27.57 g/m2) < Gardoprim A® 31.01 g/m2< untreated control (39.72 g/m2). Herbicide treatments significantly affected Golden Torch rhizomes sprouting (average = 42.5%) compared to the untreated control plot (67%). Rhizomes sprouting was significantly high in herbicide dose (73.1%) and lowest (26.85%) in the untreated control at 16 DAP. Days of planting after herbicide application (DAP) did not differ significantly on the growth parameters except on leaf area where 12 DAP  treatment had the highest leaf area of 121.3 cm2 followed by 16 DAP (116.20 cm2). There were no significant interactive effects between herbicide dose and days of planting after herbicide application on the Golden Torch growth parameters. The result of this study showed that Primextra-Gold and Gardoprim A could be used in commercial Golden Torch production; and that Golden Torch could be planted between 12 and 16 and days after herbicide application.

Open Access Original Research Article

Antifungal Effects of Botanical Leaf Extracts of Lantana camara, Moringa oleifera, and Tagetes minuta on Rhizopus stolonifer in vitro

B. T. Manenji, R. M. Mudyiwa, J. Midzi, A. Tsodzo

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/28371

Aims: This research aims at testing the efficacy of different botanical leaf extracts, (Lantana camaraMoringa oleifera and Tagetes minuta) on soft rot fungi, Rhizopus stolonifer in vitro.

Study Design: The experiment was carried out in a 3*2 Factorial arrangement +2 controls in a Complete Randomized Design replicated three times.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Agronomy Laboratory, Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe. The research was done between April 2016 and May 2016.

Methodology: Antifungal activity of the plant extracts was tested using the poisoned food technique. Colony diameter, percentage inhibition of the growth of mycelium and identification of functional groups in botanical leaf extracts were done. Mycelia growth diameter of the R. stolonifer was measured at day 3, 5, and 7 after inoculation. Identification of functional groups was done using the FT-IR Spectroscopy.

Results: There was an interaction between botanical plant type and concentration rate. L. camara at 60% concentration was most effective in controlling R. stolonifer, with a colony diameter of (4.3 cm) and an inhibition percentage of (48%). M. oleifera and T. minuta at 30% concentration gave the lowest colony growth inhibition of 30% and 31% respectively. FT-IR Spectroscopy confirmed the presence of phenols, alkanes, alkenes, anhydride and alkyl halide in all the three extracts. Amines were only detected in L. camara extract.

Conclusion: The data obtained provide additional information in support of plant extracts for control of R. stolonifer, though the efficacy of plant extracts tested still remain below that of the synthetic pesticide, (control). As the concentration of the extracts increased, the effectiveness of the extracts also increased.

Open Access Original Research Article

Plant Assemblages along an Altitudinal Gradient of Mount Oku Forests (Cameroon)

M. C. Momo Solefack

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/31743

Plant assemblage organization along physical environmental gradients remains a central issue of community on local, regional or continental scales. Mount Oku, commonly known as Kilum-Ijim, situated at the North-west Cameroon has the most important remnant of Afro-montane forest in Central Africa. These forests are recognized as a globally important center of endemism and a hotspot for biodiversity conservation but they are now undergoing unprecedented degradation. The aim of this study is to identify different plant assemblages in Mount Oku forests. In order to explore variations in vegetation composition of the study area, we realized 102 floristic plots along an altitudinal gradient. The floristic plots were subjected to a hierarchical cluster analysis (HC) using the Ward method. Our results allowed us to reveal 9 plant assemblages on Mount Oku, situated at different altitudinal levels. At the landscape level, this forest cover is old, but the plant communities composing it are largely recent because they emerge from secondary dynamics following various disturbances of the inner forest (Crops, pastures, logging, etc.). These plant communities cover a large altitudinal range. However there are still communities of ancient forests but very disturbed, situated on altitudinal levels from about 1900 to 2600 m. The general composition of the forest flora of Mount Oku indicates that this vegetation has preserved characteristics of a tropical afromontane flora. The results show that the composition of plant communities is determined mainly by human activities that tend to erase the influence of natural factors such as altitude.

Open Access Original Research Article

Growth Performance of African Catfish Fed Diet Supplemented with Gossypium herbaceum Powder as Dietary Feed Additive

Olarinke Victoria Adeniyi, Abdulkabir Oluwatosin Lawal

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/31639

Aim: To assess the growth performance of Clarias gariepinus fed diets containing cotton leaf powder and the control diets.

Study Design: Completely Randomized Design (CRD).

Place and Duration of the Study: Department of Animal Production, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria, between January and April 2015.

Methodology: Two hundred and twenty five (225) Clarias gariepinus fingerlings of average initial body weight 3.56 ± 0.03 g were randomly distributed into the 50 litre tanks filled with borehole water up to 3/4thin a static renewal system. The fish were fed diets supplemented with 0.5%, 1.0% and 1.5% air-dried cotton leaf, 0.03% oxytetracycline (positive control) and 0.0% (negative control) diets in triplicates for 12 weeks at 5% body weight. Weight Gain (WG), Relative Growth Rate (RGR), Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER), and Specific Growth Rate (SGR), Condition Factor (CF), Hepatosomatic Index (HI), Gonadosomatic Index (GI) and Speensomatic Index (SI) were calculated. Data were analyzed using ANOVA at P = .05.

Results: C. gariepinus fed diets containing cotton leaf exhibited better WG, RGR, SGR, FCR and PER than the control diets. Fish fed diets containing 1.0-1.5% air-dried cotton leaf powder had significantly higher (P < .05) WG and lower FCR than those fed the negative control diet but did not differ significantly from oxytetracycline-treated group. SGR and PER showed the same pattern among the dietary treatments as that of the WG. However, the SGR, CF and HI were not significantly affected by the five experimental treatments. Supplementing the diets of C. gariepinus with cotton leaf did not affect CF, HI, GI and SI significantly (P < .05) when compared to the negative control diet. 

Conclusion: Supplementing the diets of Clarias gariepinus with 1.0-1.5% air-dried cotton leaf powder improved the growth performance and nutrient utilization as oxytetracycline used in this study.