Effect of varying levels of fertilizer and organic manure on growth of Khaya senegalensis seedlings in Benue State, North Central Nigeria
- 1Department of Forest Production & Products, University of Agriculture Makurdi, Nigeria
- 2Department of Forest Production & Products, University of Agriculture Makurdi, Nigeria
- 3Department of Forestry, Wildlife & Ecotourism, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria
Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 7, Issue (2), Pages 1-9, April,8 (2019)
African mahogany (K. senegalensis) is one of the most important timber species in the international timber market. It has diverse applications in human and livestock traditional medicine. Also because of its straight grain, high calorific value and canopy structure it is also widely used for housing construction, fuelwood and environmental protection. There is high a demand for the species in the study area and the production capacity of the species is very low. At present there is inadequate information on the right fertilizer type and the amount needed to raise the tree species. This study sets out to assess the early growth potentials of the tree species by varying the levels of fertilizer applied to Khaya senegalensis seedlings. K. senegalensis seeds were collected from three zones in Benue state, namely: zones A (Vandeikya), B (Makurdi) and C (Oju). The seeds were planted in plastic pots and given different treatments; the experiment was laid out in a 3 x 4 x 5 factorial design. Treatment A (topsoil and poultry manure), B (topsoil and cow dung), C (topsoil and NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer) and treatment D topsoil (control). Treatments were applied at five levels (5g, 10g, 15g, 20g and 25g) of fertilizer type. Each treatment consisted of 20 experimental pots replicated three times giving a total of 180 replicates. Treatments were applied after germination was assessed. Seedling parameters measured included; seedling height (cm), collar diameter (cm), leaf area (cm2) as well as the leaf count. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistics and two-way analysis of variance. Results on seedlings treated with poultry manure had the highest mean height of 20.76cm in zone B (Makurdi) at level four of 20g of poultry manure application per seedling. Seedlings treated with poultry manure also had the highest mean collar diameter in level four (4) at 20g poultry dung manure/seedling while the least collar diameter was recorded in level one (1) at 5g poultry manure/seedling. The highest mean number of leaves (16.56±0.95) was recorded in week 12 in zone C (Oju) in seedlings treated with poultry dropping. The result showed significant differences (p<0.5) in the leaf count between week 2 to week 12. Results on leaf area showed that seedlings treated with Poultry manure recorded the highest mean leaf area (68.8cm2) in zone B. Khaya senegalensis can be best grown for successful plantation establishment with the application of poultry manure at the rate of 20g per seedling.
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