Effect of coloured polyethylene mulch and harvesting stage on growth and yield of industrial sugarcane in Nigeria
AbstractPlastic mulch increases soil temperatures and accelerates plant growth and development. Field trials were conducted in 2010 and 2011 at the National Cereals Research Institute, Badeggi to assess the effect of mulching and harvesting time on the agronomic performance of a sugarcane variety named NCS 008. The treatments consisted of three-coloured polyethylene mulches (black, red, and green) with one treatment without mulch as a control and two harvesting stages (10 and 12 months after planting). The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design in a factorial arrangement and replicated three times per treatment. Sugarcane setts planted on plots mulched with black polyethylene sheet established significantly (P<0.05) faster than those planted on plots mulched with red and green coloured polyethylene sheet as well as those planted on plots without mulch. Plants in the control plots had the least performance for all parameters measured during the experiment. Coloured polyethylene significantly (P < 0.05) increased the stalk length, stalk girth, number of tillers, chewable stalk and yield of NCS 008 for the main, as well as, the ratoon crops. Harvesting stage significantly influenced the stalk length, stalk girth and yield. Plots harvested 12 months after planting performed better than plots harvested 10 months after planting.
Keyword: Polyethylene colour (black, red and green), plastic mulch, harvesting stage, NCS 008
African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(10), pp. 1078-1083