https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/issue/feed Agro-Science 2021-04-06T20:18:53+00:00 Professor M. I. UGURU michael.uguru@unn.edu.ng Open Journal Systems <p><em>Agro-Science</em>, the journal of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Nigeria, was borne out of the need for a forum and technical mouthpiece for the communication and extension of scientific and agricultural research in Africa and countries in the rest of the tropical region of the world. Agro-Science is an international journal of high technical/intellectual quality, published four times a year (January, April, July and October). It is tropical in scope and has the following areas of focus: Crop Science: Animal Science; Animal Health; Soil and Environment, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Extension, Home Economics, Food and Nutrition; Post-harvest Technology; Agricultural Engineering and Mechanization.</p> <p>Other websites related to this journal: <a title="http://www.agrosciencejournal.com/" href="http://www.agrosciencejournal.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">http://www.agrosciencejournal.com/</a></p> https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/205200 Efficacy of three botanicals on postharvest fungal contaminants of melon (<i>Citrullus colocynthis</i>) kernels 2021-03-26T15:25:30+00:00 F.T. Obani tochyfloxy@gmail.com B. Ikotun tochyfloxy@gmail.com <p>Melon (<em>Citrullus colocynthis</em> L.) is an important crop used mainly for soups in Nigeria. Egusi: as it is commonly called in Nigeria is contaminated by many fungal pathogens which reduce quality of seeds during storage. Use of botanicals can be a safe method to manage fungal contamination instead of chemicals which pose a threat to human health. Therefore, efficacy of <em>Piper guineense</em>, <em>Xylopia aethiopica</em> and <em>Ocimum gratissimum</em> on fungi in shelled Egusi seed kernels (EK) were evaluated. One market in each of six South-western Nigerian states where Egusi is sold was purposively selected in 2012 and 2013. Egusi kernels (1⁄2kg, n = 162) were purchased from selected traders for fungi isolation, identification and incidence (%) determination. Clean EK treated with botanical powder (10, 20 and 40 g kg<sup>–1</sup>) were inoculated with <em>Aspergillus flavus</em>, <em>A. niger</em>, <em>A. tamarii</em>, <em>Rhizopus sp</em>., <em>Penicillium aurantiogriseum</em>, <em>P. citrinum</em> and <em>Fusarium solani</em> bi-weekly for 14-week storage period to evaluate growth reduction (%). Control was inoculated with sterile distilled water. <em>Aspergillus flavus</em>, <em>A. niger</em>, <em>A. tamarii</em>, <em>Penicillium</em> <em>citrinum</em>, <em>P.</em> <em>aurantiogriseum</em>, <em>Fusarium solani</em> and <em>Rhizopus</em> <em>sp</em>. were frequently encountered in EK. <em>Aspergillus</em> (32.4±1.6%) was the most predominant fungus followed by <em>Rhizopus</em> (21.5±2.0%) in all States. <em>Piper</em> <em>guineense</em> (40 g kg<sup>–1</sup>), <em>X. aethiopica</em> (20 g kg<sup>–1</sup>) and <em>O. gratissimum</em> (10 g kg<sup>–1</sup>) powders significantly reduced aflatoxin contamination by 42.5%, 56.5% and 45.0%, respectively; fungi growths were progressively reduced by <em>P. guineense</em> (5.5-90.0%), <em>X. aethiopica</em> (6.7-100.0%) and <em>O. gratissimum</em> (7.4 66.7%) up to 12 weeks of storage. Egusi kernels were highly infected with postharvest fungi especially <em>Aspergillus</em> species. <em>Xylopia</em> <em>aethiopica</em> at 20 g kg<sup>–1</sup>, <em>O. gratissimum</em> (40.0%) and <em>P. guineense</em> (40.0%) reduced fungi growth on Egusi considerably and therefore could be used as a safe management option to mitigate storage fungi contamination in Egusi kernels.</p> 2021-03-26T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204947 Global utilisation of cereals: sustainability and environmental issues 2021-03-26T15:32:50+00:00 O.O. Olugbire olugbireolutoyin@gmail.com S. Olorunfemi olugbireolutoyin@gmail.com D.O. Oke olugbireolutoyin@gmail.com <p>Over the years, cereals have been the major food consumed by humans and have also been used in animal diet and therefore highly commendable for playing a major role in the preservation of human race. Studies have shown that half of the total percentage of calories consumed in the world is from cereals while it is also the most traded agricultural crop at the international market. This motivates the need to assess its utilisation in the past, present and future. This review shows that much driven by the use of cereals are factors like consumption and dietary pattern of a person or country, technological advancement in adding value to it, income status, market forces of demand and supply, level of affluence and policy. The trend in global cereals utilisation since its domestication has indicated an upward one with bulk of it being consumed as food in developing countries while majority of it goes into feeding livestock in developed countries. Evidence from this study also shows that the per capita utilisation of cereals directly for food is exceedingly great in developing countries than developed countries which is an indicator of malnutrition when not balance with other nutrients as it was observed in Bangladesh where calorie intake of an adult is about 90% from cereals. While there is a steady increase in global cereals utilisation due to its discovered industrial use as fuel, increased population and other factors, it will be expedient to focus on its sustainability and environmental issues that are likely to come up as a limitation to meet future demands.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204950 Growth and yield of Sesame (<i>Sesamum indicum</i>) as influenced by plant population density and organo-mineral fertilizer rates 2021-03-26T15:34:17+00:00 J.A. Oloniruha okolawole40@yahoo.com S.K. Ogundare okolawole40@yahoo.com K. Olajide okolawole40@yahoo.com <p>Sesame (<em>Sesamum indicum </em>L.) is an important oil-seed crop cultivated for its high nutrition and edible seeds. However, its cultivation is affected by low soil fertility, wrong choice of plant population density and time of sowing. The experiment was carried out during the 2016 and 2017 cropping seasons at the Research Site of Agronomy Section, Kabba College of Agriculture, Kabba, Kogi State, Nigeria. The experiment evaluated the influence of plant population density and organo-mineral fertilizer rates on the performance of Sesame in Kabba, Kogi State, Nigeria. The experiment was a split plot design replicated thrice. The main plot treatment was three plant population density (P1 = 111,111; P2 = 83,333 and P3 = 66,667 plants ha<sup>–1</sup>) and the sub-plot treatment was four organo-mineral fertilizer rates (F0 = 0, F1 = 500, F2 = 1000, F3 = 1500 kg ha<sup>-1</sup>). Data were collected on growth, morphological characters (plant height, number of leaves, number of branches) and yield components (number of capsules plant<sup>–1</sup>, 1000 seed weight and yield ha<sup>–1</sup>). The result showed that the plant at P1 produced the tallest plants throughout the period of sampling, which was closely followed by P2 while P3 produced the shortest plants. Numbers of capsules plant<sup>–1 </sup>was highest in plots with P1 which was statistically the same with the number of capsules plant<sup>–1 </sup>in P2. Number of capsules plant<sup>–1 </sup>in P1 and P2 were statistically better than the plots with P3. Plots treated with rate F2 gave the highest number of capsules and also recorded the highest yield in 2016 and 2017 growth seasons. The results indicated that Sesame with closest spacing was better in terms of seed yield land<sup>–1 </sup>area while widest spacing gave the highest individual yield attributes. For economic use of land, it is concluded that plant population density at 111,111 be adopted in the production of Sesame. Best growth and yield performance of Sesame was achieved with 1500 kg ha-1 of organo-mineral fertilizer and is recommended for optimum production of Sesame in the study area.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204960 Carcass and organ characteristics of finishing broilers fed diets containing probiotics (<i>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</i>) 2021-03-26T15:36:15+00:00 J.I. Ugwuoke chinonso.dim@unn.edu.ng O.R. Okwesili chinonso.dim@unn.edu.ng C.E. Dim chinonso.dim@unn.edu.ng M.N. Okonkwo chinonso.dim@unn.edu.ng H.M. Ndofor-Foleng chinonso.dim@unn.edu.ng <p>A five-week study was conducted to determine the effect of feeding varying levels of <em>S. cerevisiae</em> on carcass and organ characteristics of finishing broilers. One hundred and twenty 4-weeks old broilers of cobb strain were randomly assigned to four treatments (T1 = 0.6 g <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em> (SC) kg<sup>–1 </sup>diet; T2 = 0.8 g SC kg<sup>–1 </sup>diet; T3 = 1.0 g SC kg<sup>–1 </sup>diet and T4 = 0.0 g SC kg<sup>–1 </sup>diet) with 30 birds per treatment and replicated twice with 15 birds per replicate in a completely randomized design. Feed and water were provided ad libitum to the birds in a deep litter system. In the end, data on growth, carcass and organ indices generated from the study were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results showed no significant difference (p &gt; 0.05) among the treatments in the birds’ growth performance indices. However, significant differences (p &lt; 0.05) were observed in the birds’ values for liver weight, heart weight, shank length and thigh length with birds in T3 recording highest values of 61.30 g, 16.93 g and 12.00 cm for liver weight, heart weight and thigh length, respectively. It was thus concluded that finishing broilers fed 1.0 g of <em>S. cerevisiae</em> had superior carcass and organ characteristics than birds on the control and lower levels of inclusion.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204964 Assessment of <sup>60</sup>Co gamma radiation on early phenological stages of two generations of <i>OFADA</i> rice 2021-03-26T15:37:16+00:00 K.M. Adewusi kayode.adewusi@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng F.A. Showemimo kayode.adewusi@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng A.L. Nassir kayode.adewusi@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng S.O. Olagunju kayode.adewusi@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng J.B.O. Porbeni kayode.adewusi@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng J.O. Amira kayode.adewusi@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng A.P. Aderinola kayode.adewusi@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng <p>Traditional <em>Ofada</em> rice varieties from South-West, Nigeria is preferred for its unique taste, aroma and massive potential for export but has low yield. Based on this background, two <em>Ofada</em> rice varieties, FUNAABOR 1 and FUNAABOR 2 were irradiated to create genetic variability as it affects vegetative traits. Seeds from the varieties were exposed to nine levels of <sup>60</sup>Co gamma irradiation (0, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350 and 400 Gy). The seeds were nursed for 30 days before M<sub>1</sub> seedlings were transplanted into a well tilled soil in a two factorial RCBD with three replicates. Selections from M<sub>1</sub> plants were used to establish M<sub>2</sub> plants generation. The results revealed diverse effects of <sup>60</sup>Co gamma irradiation treatments on different plant vegetative traits. The establishment rates of M<sub>1</sub> <em>Ofada</em> rice population were unaffected (p &gt; 0.01) by increasing gamma irradiation from 0 to 300 Gy but decreased at 350 Gy. Above 300 Gy, tiller numbers, plant height, lodging incidence, leaf number, leaf length and leaf angle decreased significantly when compared with control (p &lt; 0.01) in both generations (M<sub>1</sub> and M<sub>2</sub>). Moderately tillered (10 tillers), tall plant (116.9 cm) obtained from 350 dosage rate recorded highest grain weight of 7.8 g per panicle. High phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) and genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV) promoted by the irradiation dosages in M<sub>1</sub> selection indicate the extent of environmental influence. High broad sense heritability observed from leaf number, leaf angle, leaf length, leaf blade colour, basal leaf sheath colour and grain weight per panicle shows possibility of rapid genetic improvement of these characters through selection.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204968 Growth response and feed utilization in <i>Clarias gariepinus</i> fingerlings fed diets supplemented with processed flamboyant (<i>Delonix regia</i>) leaf meal 2021-03-26T15:38:13+00:00 S.A. Adesina adesinasimon@yahoo.com O.D. Agbatan adesinasimon@yahoo.com <p>Expanding utilization of conventional fish feed ingredients by man and fish feed industries has necessitated consideration of cheaper and locally available alternatives. A 70-day feeding trial was conducted to assess the effect of substituting graded levels of sundried flamboyant (<em>Delonix regia</em>) leaf meal (SFLM) for groundnut cake on growth and feed utilization of 240 <em>Clarias gariepinus</em> fingerlings at six substitution levels of 0 (control), 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100% in 12 plastic aquaria (50 × 40 × 40 cm). Each dietary treatment was randomly assigned in two replicates each to the aquaria making 12 treatment units and each aquarium had 20 fish. SFLM supplemented diets and fish carcass were proximately analyzed using standard procedures. Mean weight gain (MWG), specific growth rate (SGR) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were determined. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at p ≤ 0.05. Crude protein was highest (68.89%) in fish fed with diet 4, least (64.61%) in fish fed with diet 1 (control) and significantly (p &lt; 0.05) exceeded 60.54% of the pre-treatment fish carcass. Fish fed with diet 3 had significantly (p &lt; 0.05) higher values of MWG (11.73 g), SGR (2.13%/day) and superior FCR (0.451) above which growth and feed utilization indices progressively declined with increase in the substitution level of SFLM. This study revealed that 40% substitution level of the SFLM resulted in the best growth and feed utilization in <em>C. gariepinus</em>. The study demonstrated the considerable potential of flamboyant leaf meal as an alternative protein source, therefore other processing methods are recommended to increase its utilization, reduce feed cost and maximize aquaculture profitability.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204971 Long-run and short-run responses of agricultural sector growth to its determinants in Nigeria 2021-03-26T15:39:02+00:00 H.S. Umar umarhsuleiman@yahoo.com S.I. Audu umarhsuleiman@yahoo.com C.N. Okoye umarhsuleiman@yahoo.com <p>The study examined the long-run and short-run responses of agricultural sector growth to its determinants in Nigeria using time series data (1981 2015). Dynamic Ordinary Least Square (DOLS) method was employed in the analysis of the data. Jarque-Bera Normality Test, Breusch-Godfrey serial correlation LM test, Engle Granger 2-Step Test for Co-Integration and CUSUM of Squares Test were used to test for normality, serial correlation and structural dynamic stability of the data. The trend of agricultural sector growth revealed that sustained growth of the sector has been experienced since 2001 up till 2015. The results revealed that agricultural sector growth was positively and significantly influenced by capital expenditure in the sector, which was proxy by Total Government Agricultural Expenditure (TGAE), in the long-run; while in the short-run, the sector growth was positively and significantly influenced by labour employment. It is therefore recommended that for sustained agricultural sector growth and development in the country, increased capital expenditure in the sector should be pursued with sustained vigour. Since agriculture sector shows immediate and significant response to employment, it should be made attractive to youth employment by provision of incentive. This would ensure dual gain of tackling unemployment problem in the country and ensure agricultural sector growth.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204973 The use of nitrite and ascorbate in improving quality of stored intermediate moisture (IM) smoked meat 2021-03-26T15:39:54+00:00 J. Ndife jothel2000@gmail.com S.C. Ubbor jothel2000@gmail.com V.C. Ezeocha jothel2000@gmail.com O.A. Olaoye jothel2000@gmail.com <p>Smoking is one of the techniques employed to prevent spoilage of meat. Traditional smoked meat usually results in the production of over dried meat, with unattractive dark colour. This study aimed at improving quality of smoked stored meat. Beef samples were smoked before (CBS) and after (CAS) curing with nitrite and ascorbate in glycerol infusions to obtain intermediate moisture beef. The products were evaluated before and during six weeks of storage under ambient conditions for yield, pigment-conversion, residual nitrite, microbes, and sensory quality. The results of the analysis showed product yield for CBS (33.10-34.77%) to be lower than CAS (47.43-53.48%). Samples CAS contained more moisture (31.21-38.90%) than CBS (24.20-28.41%). CBS4 and CAS4 contained the highest residual nitrite values of 142 and 113 ppm, respectively. CBS4 and CAS3 had the highest myoglobin conversion of 31.31% and 74.68%, respectively. Microbial count of all the beef samples increased with storage time. CBS1 and CAS1 had the highest microbial loads of 3.89 and 4.74 log cful g<sup>-1</sup>. CAS samples had higher fungal growth than CBS during storage. Beef cured before smoking (CBS) had a better appearance rating (5.44-8.28) than CAS (4.78-7.39). CBS2 had the highest scores in appearance (8.28), taste (7.11) and aroma (8.06). Beef cured before smoking (CBS) had superior sensory scores than beefs cured after smoking (CAS) after six weeks of ambient storage. The quality of intermediate moisture meats was found to improve through curing, using nitrite and ascorbate.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204975 Socio-economic determinants of best land management practices adoption in highly anthropized areas: case study of Dan Saga and Tabofatt village clusters in Niger republic 2021-03-26T15:40:57+00:00 S. Saidou saidousalifou29@yahoo.fr D.G. Iro saidousalifou29@yahoo.fr J.M.K. Ambouta saidousalifou29@yahoo.fr <p>The objective sought by this study is to highlight the socio-economic determinants that could be helpful in scaling up of best land management practices in high demographics areas. Indeed, a survey was carried out in Dan Saga and Tabofatt two villages’ clusters in order to identify the driver factors which explain the high adoption of best land management practices in these areas. The data were collected from 200 farmers (100 from each cluster), randomly chosen. The survey addressed the likelihood of farmer to use agroforestry practices and or erosion control practices, on the basis of four socioeconomics variables: the educational level of farmer (Instr), the distance between their farm and habitation (Prox), the possession of Harnessed Cultivation Unit (HCU) and the land tenure status (Land). Data were subjected to an analysis by statistical modeling of logistic regression. The results show that agroforestry technology is predominated in Dan Saga cluster (90% of citation for agroforestry practices) compare to Tabofatt cluster where people use mostly erosion control practices (76% of citation for erosion control practices). Among the socioeconomics variables, three main factors significantly influenced the adoption of best land management; the educational level of peasants, the modality of land tenure by purchase and by inheritance and the possession of harness unit. In addition, the main land management technologies perform a high profitability compare to state of inaction. These results could serve as a lever for scaling up of regreening policy in other degraded areas of Sahel’s region.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204977 Soil fertility indices of tropical loamy sand as influenced by bambara groundnut variety, plant spacing and fertilizer type 2021-04-06T20:18:53+00:00 C.P. Umeugokwe ifeyinwa.uzoh@unn.edu.ng V.U. Ugwu ifeyinwa.uzoh@unn.edu.ng O.P. Umeugochukwu ifeyinwa.uzoh@unn.edu.ng I.M. Uzoh ifeyinwa.uzoh@unn.edu.ng S.E. Obalum ifeyinwa.uzoh@unn.edu.ng G. Ddamulira ifeyinwa.uzoh@unn.edu.ng G.M. Karwani ifeyinwa.uzoh@unn.edu.ng G. Alenoma ifeyinwa.uzoh@unn.edu.ng <p>Agricultural sustainability ensues when cultivation of field crops and associated techniques improve not just crop yields but also management-responsive soil properties. Bambara groundnut as an underutilized crop lacks research-based information on its agronomic requirements. This paper reports the key fertility indices of a loamy-sand soil in southeastern Nigeria as influenced by soil and agronomic management practices involving factorial combinations of two bambara groundnut varieties (Caro and Olokoro), two plant spacings (30 cm × 75 cm and 45 cm × 75 cm) and four organic/inorganic fertilizer options. These fertilizer options were NPK 15-15-15 (NPK), single super phosphate (SSP), poultry manure (PM) and Control. The plots under Caro variety spaced 30 cm × 75 cm and grown with NPK or SSP fertilizer showed the highest CEC (8.40 cmol kg<sup>–1</sup>) and exchangeable K (0.15 cmol kg<sup>–1</sup>), respectively. Olokoro variety spaced 45 cm × 75 cm and grown with PM or SSP gave the highest total nitrogen (0.14%), soil pH<sub>water</sub> (6.35), available phosphorus (107.60 mg kg<sup>-1</sup>) and exchangeable Ca (3.70 cmol kg<sup>-1</sup>). The interactions plant spacing × fertilizer type and crop variety × fertilizer type affected all the soil fertility indices studied, while crop variety × plant spacing affected soil pH<sub>water</sub>, available phosphorus, CEC and exchangeable Ca and Mg. Generally, as main factors, Olokoro variety, NPK and 45 cm × 75 cm improved soil properties better than their counterparts.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204978 Nutritional composition, microbial load and consumer acceptability of tiger nut (<i>Cyperus esculentus</i>), date (<i>Phoenix dactylifera</i> l.) and ginger (<i>Zingiber officinale</i> Roscoe) blended beverage 2021-03-26T15:42:33+00:00 O. Ariyo o.ariyo@ui.edu.ng O. Adetutu o.ariyo@ui.edu.ng O. Keshinro o.ariyo@ui.edu.ng <p>Beverage consumption is increasing but rarely used to promote micronutrient intakes in Nigeria. Diversifying the crops in local beverage production could improve dietary diversification and increase nutrients intake. This study determined the nutritional composition, microbial load and consumer acceptability of tiger nut, date and ginger blended beverage. Fresh tiger nuts, date and ginger were processed to formulate four beverage blends in these ratios 100:0:0; 85:10:5; 70:20:10; and 55:30:15. Samples were analysed for proximate, vitamins, minerals, anti-nutrients content and microbiological attributes using standard procedures. Consumer acceptability was determined using a 9-point hedonic scale by 30 untrained panelists. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, independent t-test and ANOVA at p ≤ 0.05. Moisture, protein, fat, fibre, ash, carbohydrate (mg 100 g<sup>–1</sup>) and metabolizable energy composition (kCal 100 ml<sup>–1</sup>) ranged from 80.33-84.78, 0.71-0.8, 2.96-4.94, 0.20-1.63, 0.34-0.44, 9.10-13.63 and 78.2-101.5, respectively. Thiamin, niacin, ascorbic acid and tocopherol composition (mg 100 g<sup>–1</sup>) ranged from 0.30-0.68, 0.08-0.17, 4.73-8.40, and 7.20-15.31, respectively. Calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron contents (mg 100 g<sup>–1</sup>) ranged from 1.07-6.79, 164.8-259.3, 43.86-47.1, and 6.88-9.26, respectively. Saponin ranged from 0.01-0.05 mg 100 g<sup>–1</sup>. Number of colonies were negligible after refrigeration for 10 days. Sensory properties ranged from 6.40-6.63, 4.93-6.40, 4.70-7.20, 5.93-6.90, and 5.27-7.17 for appearance, aroma, taste, consistency and general acceptability, respectively. Date and ginger substitution enhance fibre, ash, carbohydrate, and calcium composition, the shelf life and sensory properties of tiger nut beverage, the blends are generally acceptable to consumers and considered safe up to day 10 when refrigerated.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204980 Molecular identification of fungi associated with avocado (<i>Persea americana</i> Mill.) fruits 2021-03-26T15:43:21+00:00 N.G. Iyanyi nkechi.iyanyi@gmail.com A.E. Ataga nkechi.iyanyi@gmail.com I.S. Rotimi nkechi.iyanyi@gmail.com I. Blessing nkechi.iyanyi@gmail.com <p>Avocado (<em>Persea americana</em> Mill.) is grown for its nutritious fruit. However, the quantity and quality of these fruits are threatened by some fungal organisms which can cause health complications when it is consumed by man. DNA extraction provides a unique tool for identification of organisms. This study was conducted to isolate and identify fungal species associated with avocado fruit using both morphological and molecular techniques. Fungal species were isolated from <em>Persea</em> <em>americana</em> purchased from Choba market, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria using Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) as a growth medium. The morphology of isolated fungi on PDA were cotton-like blackish grey spots, white villous colonies, greyish powdery spores and black spores for isolates 1 to 4 respectively. Extraction of DNA from fungal isolates was carried out using Zymo Fungal/Bacteria DNA Miniprep Kit. PCR amplification of the ITS1-2 regions of isolates was carried out using fungal universal primer pair; ITS4 and ITS5.PCR amplification of the ITS1-2 gene sequences yielded amplicons between 537-580 base pairs. PCR products were sequenced and the sequencing result after BLAST search revealed the identity of the four fungal species as follows: <em>Lasiodiplodia</em> <em>theobromae, Fusarium proliferatum, Penicillium sp.</em> and <em>Aspergillus</em> <em>niger</em>. This study will promote the knowledge of specific fungal species associated with <em>Persea americanna</em> and help plant pathologists to proffer preventive and control measures to enhance fruit protection and yield quality.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204982 Fertilizer values of composts as affected by plant materials and composting duration on maize (<i>Zea mays</i>) performance 2021-03-26T15:44:21+00:00 A.F. Komolafe talk2nikeadekunle@gmail.com C.O. Adejuyigbe talk2nikeadekunle@gmail.com O.A. Babalola talk2nikeadekunle@gmail.com A.A. Soretire talk2nikeadekunle@gmail.com C.O. Kayode talk2nikeadekunle@gmail.com <p>Chemical properties and nutrient release pattern from compost are influenced by composted plant materials (CPM) and duration of composting (DC). The following plant materials; guinea grass (GGC), tridax weed (TWC), siam weed (SWC) and maize stover (MSC) were composted with cow dung. Pot and field experiments were carried out to evaluate the effect of these CPM on growth yield performance of maize, and the properties of soil after harvest. The pot trial was a 4 × 5 factorial experiment laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replicates while the field experiment was a 4 × 3 factorial arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD), replicated three times. Data collected on initial and soil properties after harvest, growth, dry matter yield (DMY), nutrient uptake and yield of maize were subjected to analysis of variance and means separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test. Results showed that MSC compost had the highest N content while GGC had the highest K. Phosphorus (P) content was similar for all the CPMs. Results of pot experiment showed that maize growth was higher (p ≤ 0.05) with GGC, TWC and MSC of 3, 4 and 5 months DC. The DMY and P-uptake increased with increasing DC. On field trial, plants height was similar for all the CPM that received MSC and GGC gave similar highest DMY which were significantly higher than TWC and SWC. MSC gave the highest N-uptake while GGC treated plant had the highest P and K uptake. Grain yield was significantly higher for MSC (1.80 t ha<sup>–1</sup>) than SWC and Control but similar to GGC (1.37 t ha<sup>–1</sup>) and TWC (1.18 t ha<sup>–1</sup>). Compost application at 20 t ha<sup>–1 </sup>significantly increased cob weight, N and K uptake of maize compared to control. Application of CPM improved final soil available P which increased with DC and rate of application of different CPM. Therefore, CPM and DC have great potentials in influencing compost quality and should be considered in formulating compost fertilizer in organic farming.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204984 Manurial amendments and source of water for supplemental irrigation of <i>sawah</i>-rice system influenced soil quality and rice yield 2021-03-26T15:45:23+00:00 A.L. Nnadi sunday.obalum@unn.edu.ng V.U. Ugwu sunday.obalum@unn.edu.ng J.C. Nwite sunday.obalum@unn.edu.ng S.E. Obalum sunday.obalum@unn.edu.ng C.A. Igwe sunday.obalum@unn.edu.ng T. Wakatsuki sunday.obalum@unn.edu.ng <p>Soil and water management research on adapting the promising <em>sawah</em> ecotechnology for lowland rice farming in West Africa has largely focused on the abundant inland valleys; floodplains which too represent a huge agricultural resource in the region have not been so involved. <em>Sawah</em> refers to a bunded, puddled and leveled basin for rice, with water inlets and outlets for irrigation and drainage, respectively. In conventional <em>sawah</em>, soil fertility is augmented using mineral fertilizers, with an option to harness lowland water resources for use in small-scale irrigation to create the so-called <em>sawah</em> typologies. In this study, we evaluated the effects of three manurial amendments (rice husk, rice-husk ash and poultry droppings, each at 10 t ha<sup>–1</sup>) and NPK 20:10:10 at 400 kg ha<sup>–1</sup> interacting with source of water (spring or pond) used for supplemental irrigation of three <em>sawah </em>typologies in a floodplain in southeastern Nigeria. Plots amended with poultry droppings and supplemented with spring water recorded the overall best performance of the <em>sawah</em>-rice system; the control being the unamended non-supplemented (solely rainfed) plots recorded the worst. Rice-husk ash and rice husk enhanced soil pH and soil organic carbon, respectively. The three <em>sawah</em> typologies showed a consistent trend thus spring-supplemented ≥ pond-supplemented ≥ non-supplemented <em>sawah</em>. Rice grain yield was influenced by soil total nitrogen and the sum of the three plant-nutrient basic cations (K<sup>+</sup> , Ca<sup>2+</sup> and Mg<sup>2+</sup>), with the influence of K<sup>+</sup> alone being the greatest. To enhance rice performance including grain yields in floodplain <em>sawah</em>, farmers should utilise poultry droppings as soil manure and spring water for supplemental irrigation.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/204958 Evaluation of growth response of <i>Parkia biglobosa</i> (JACQ) under different levels of organic manures 2021-03-26T15:35:22+00:00 R.B. Mukhtar rbmukhtar.fwm@buk.edu.ng A. Inuwa rbmukhtar.fwm@buk.edu.ng M. Umar rbmukhtar.fwm@buk.edu.ng <p>An investigation was carried out to evaluate early growth of <em>Parkia biglobosa</em> under different levels of organic manures in the nursery in order to promote its sustained utilization and regeneration. Seeds were sown in the germination bed at the nursery of Department of Forestry and Fisheries of KSUST, Aliero which took average of three days to germinate and at two weeks after germination, seedlings were transplanted into polythene bags (16 × 14 × 12 cm) filled with cow dung, poultry manure and farmyard manure at 40, 70 and 100 g kg<sup>–1 </sup>of top soil and top soil only was used as control. The experiment was laid in a completely randomized design with nine replications. Data collection commenced two weeks after transplanting and was done fortnightly for 12 weeks on stem height, collar diameter and number of leaves. Biomass was assessed at twelve weeks and the data were analysed using analysis of variance and follow up tests were conducted with Duncan Multiple Range Tests. The result revealed significant effect on all the variables (stem height, collar diameter and number of leaves) assessed, where poultry droppings at 40 g kg<sup>–1</sup> and cow dung at 100 g kg<sup>–1 </sup>gave the highest growth and cow dung was recommended.</p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c)