https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/issue/feed Agro-Science 2022-06-23T16:08:41+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/227130 Determinants of access to agricultural credit among smallholder rice and maize farmers in the eastern and western provinces of Rwanda 2022-06-23T15:37:02+00:00 N.K Taremwa k.taremwa@gmail.com I. Macharia nk.taremwa@gmail.com E. Bett nk.taremwa@gmail.com E. Majiwa nk.taremwa@gmail.com <p>Agricultural credit is believed to play a catalytic role in enhancing agricultural productivity; however, its access is limited for smallholder farmers in Rwanda. To investigate this phenomenon, this study sought to identify and assess the determinants of access to agricultural credit among rice and maize smallholder farmers in Rwanda. The study was conducted in the eastern and western provinces of Rwanda using a cross-sectional survey design. Sample districts, sectors, and cells were obtained using stratified random sampling techniques. Convenient and purposive samplings were used to sample households and farmers, respectively. Data were collected using structured interviews and questionnaires, and were analyzed using a binary logistic regression model. Model results indicated that both individual and institutional factors determine access to agricultural credit among smallholder maize and rice farmers in eastern and western provinces of Rwanda. The individual<br>factors included: saving of money in commercial banks (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 2.389), owning a size of land that is 0-0.1 ha (AOR = 0.127), and knowledge of the repayment terms of agricultural loans (AOR = 0.203), while the institutional factors included: having privately-owned finance institutions in the area (AOR = 0.287), offer of both long and short-term loans (AOR = 0.290), interest rate between 11-15% (AOR = 0.178), the process for obtaining agricultural credit not being too long (AOR = 2.026). Institutional factors were more important than the individual farmer characteristics in determining access to credit. Policy interventions aimed at bolstering agricultural credit access among the smallholder farmers should address institutional challenges such as information asymmetry and the lack of credit guarantees that hinder agricultural credit access.</p> 2022-06-20T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227134 Effect of slope curvature and gradient on soil properties affecting erodibility of coastal plain sands in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria 2022-06-23T15:40:41+00:00 P.I. Ogban peterogban@yahoo.com M.I. Ibotto peterogban@yahoo.com U.E. Utin peterogban@yahoo.com O.A. Essien peterogban@yahoo.com G.J. Arthur peterogban@yahoo.com <p>A study was conducted to assess the effect of slope curvature and gradient on soil properties affecting erodibility of coastal plain sands in Akwa Ibom State. Twelve locations comprising six each of concave (CC) and convex (CV) slopes, and three slope gradients, namely, gentle (GS), moderate (MS) and steep slopes (SS) in CC and CV were identified for the study. Bulk and core soil samples were collected from the top 30 cm soil depth at three slope positions of slope curvature and gradient categories for physical and chemical characterization, and derivation of microaggregate stability indices and erodibility factor, K. Results showed that coarse sand (CS), fine sand (FS), bulk density (Bd), total porosity (TP) and saturated hydraulic conductivity (K<sub>sat</sub>) were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher on CC than CV, and among the slope gradients, GS &gt; MS &gt; SS. The interaction of slope curvature and gradients was significantly higher on CC than CV. A similar pattern of differences was also observed inorganic matter (SOM), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and other exchangeable cations, but the effect of slope curvature and gradients interaction was not significant. The microaggregate stability indices, water dispersible clay (WDC), water dispersible silt (WDS), dispersion ratio (DR), clay dispersion ratio (CDR), modified clay ratio (MCR), clay flocculation index (CFI), aggregated silt + clay (ASC) and aggregated clay (AC) were significantly higher on CV than CC, and differences among slope gradients and interaction of slope curvature and gradients were not significant. The erodibility factor, K, was significantly higher on CV than CC, while the slope gradients were similar in their effects on K. Linear regression analysis showed that K-factor was highly significantly related to CS, FS, Si, Cl, Bd, TP and Ksat, as well as WDC, WDS, CDR, DR, CR, MCR, CFI, ASC and AC. However, CS, Si, K<sub>sat</sub>, Cl, ASC and WDS which explained &gt; 40% of the variability in Kfactor could be relied upon as indices of soil erodibility in the coastal plain sands in Akwa Ibom State.</p> 2022-06-20T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227139 Chemical composition of biscuits supplemented with orange peel and pulp flours 2022-06-23T15:42:27+00:00 A.N. Nwosu adaora.nwosu@unn.edu.ng B.C. Nweze adaora.nwosu@unn.edu.ng A.I. Onwuchekwa adaora.nwosu@unn.edu.ng <p>Sweet orange (<em>Citrus sinensis</em>) fruits were washed, peeled manually, the juice was extracted using kitchen juice extractor and the seeds were removed. The peels were separated from the pulps and sliced into thin slices of about 2 cm thick, sun dried separately till constant weight was achieved. They were milled and sieved to obtain orange peel and orange pulp flours, respectively. The orange peel and pulp flours were used to substitute 10% wheat flour. Biscuits were produced from the flour blends and 100% wheat biscuit was produced and evaluated for chemical composition (proximate analysis, mineral and phytochemical compositions). The results showed that the orange pulp biscuit was significantly higher (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.05) in moisture and fibre, while orange peel biscuit was higher in ash. The pulp and peel biscuits had lower levels in fat, protein, carbohydrate and energy content. There were no differences (<em>p</em> &gt; 0.05) in mineral content of the orange peel and pulp biscuits, though higher values were recorded for calcium and sodium when compared to 100% wheat biscuit. The orange peel biscuit had higher (p &lt; 0.05) levels of all the phytochemicals (saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, anthocyanins and carotenoids) assessed. Edible biscuits can be produced from blends of wheat and sweet<br>orange peel and pulp flours which are sources of bioactive compounds that possess nutraceutical properties.</p> 2022-06-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227140 Characterization, classification, and suitability evaluation of some soils in the floodplains of River Niger, Kogi East, Nigeria for rice, maize, cassava, and oil palm production 2022-06-23T15:44:14+00:00 M.E. Ukabiala successfulmadu@yahoo.com <p>This study was conducted to characterize, classify and evaluate four soils along River Niger in Kogi East for rice, maize, cassava and oil palm production. The soils developed predominantly from alluvium. The soils were located in four communities namely Ejule-Ojebe, Shintaku, Bagana and Kpata all in the floodplains of River Niger in Kogi East. The soils were investigated using a free survey technique. Four pedons representing four soils located at different sites in the floodplain were studied. The environs and the profiles of the soils were described according to standard field procedures. Soil samples were then taken from genetic horizons for laboratory analysis. The soils were also characterized and classified according to Soil Taxonomy and the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB). The colour of the soils ranged from shades of brown to grey generally due to poor drainage. The soils also varied in depth and horizonation due to differences in profile development. Due to the relatively higher sand content of the soils, especially in the surface and subsurface horizons, the texture of the soils generally ranged from sand to clay loam. The pH (H<sub>2</sub>O) of the soils ranged from 4.8 to 7.3, strongly acidic to slightly alkaline, and tended to increase with depth. The soils contained<br>moderate amounts of organic carbon in the surface soils but lower levels in the lower horizons. Based on their properties, the soils were classified according to Soil Taxonomy as Alfisols (Ejule-Ojebe), Entisols (Shintaku), Inceptisols (Bagana) and Alfisols (Kpata) and according to WRB as Planosols, Arenosols, Gleysols and Planosols, respectively. The soils were found to be highly suitable for rice production but moderately suitable for maize, cassava and oil palm. Apart from rice cultivation, wetness of soil was found to be the major limiting factor for optimum rainfed cultivation of maize, cassava and oil palm.</p> 2022-06-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227142 Nodulation, dry matter accumulation and yields of soybean (<i>glycine max</i> L.) cultivars at varying plant spacing in a rainforest agro-ecology 2022-06-23T15:46:55+00:00 S.U. Ewansiha sylvester.ewansiha@uniben.edu K.E. Oghenebrume sylvester.ewansiha@uniben.edu U.D Aigbe sylvester.ewansiha@uniben.edu A.U. Osaigbovo sylvester.ewansiha@uniben.edu <p>Field trials were conducted during 2017 and 2018 late cropping seasons at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Benin, in the rainforest zone of Nigeria to evaluate soybean (<em>Glycine max L. Merrill)</em> cultivars for nodulation, dry matter accumulation and seed and fodder yields at varying plant spacings. The trial was laid out in a randomized complete block design with split-plot arrangement replicated four times. Four plant spacings (50 × 30 cm, 60 × 25 cm, 75 × 20 cm, and 100 × 15 cm) were evaluated on six soybean cultivars: TGX1835-10E and TGX1987-62F (early maturing), TGX1951-3F and TGX1955-4F (medium maturing) and TGX1448-2E and TGX1904-6F (late maturing). Results showed that varietal performance depended on plant spacing. TGX1904-6F nodulated best at plant spacing of 50 × 30 cm, TGX1835-10E at 60 × 25 cm, TGX1987-62F at 75 × 20 cm, TGX1448-2E at 75 × 20 cm, and TGX1951-3 at 100 × 15 cm. TGX1835-10E accumulated dry matter most at plant spacing of 60 × 25 cm and 75 × 20 cm, TGX1987-62 at 75 × 20 cm, TGX1951-3F at 60 × 25 cm, TGX1955-4F at 60 × 25 cm and 75 × 20 cm, TGX1904-6F at 50 × 30 cm, and TGX1448-2E at 60 × 25 cm and 75 × 20 cm. TGX1448-2E and TGX1904-6F had higher seed and fodder yields at plant spacing of 50 × 30 cm, TGX1951-3F and TGX1955-4F at 60 × 25 cm, and TGX1835-10E and TGX1987-62F at 75 × 20 cm, relative to other plant spacing. Therefore, for higher yields in rainforest agro-ecology, farmers should adopt the right cultivar-plant spacing combination for soybean.</p> 2022-06-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227143 Impact of bambara seed residue biochar and NPK on soil fertility, aggregate carbon and nitrogen concentrations and yield of cucumber 2022-06-23T15:49:29+00:00 C.B. Okebalama chinyere.okebalama@unn.edu.ng K.C. Asogwa chinyere.okebalama@unn.edu.ng I.M. Uzoh chinyere.okebalama@unn.edu.ng B. Marschner chinyere.okebalama@unn.edu.ng <p>The mechanisms of biochar effects on soil and crop yield are still elusive. Assessing the influence of biochar on total carbon (TC) and total nitrogen (TN) concentrations in hierarchical soil aggregates could provide an explanation. In a randomized complete block design were control, bambara seed residue biochar (BSB), NPK and NPK + BSB treatments superimposed on a two-year bambara seed residue amended Ultisols, in a four-year continuous cucumber cultivation. The effects of the treatments on optimizing cucumber yield and soil sustainability parameters, particularly the aggregate- (4.75-2.00, 1.00-2.00, 0.25-1.00 and &lt; 0.25 mm) associated TC and TN concentrations were studied. The BSB and NPK + BSB treatments significantly (p ≤ 0.05) increased the concentrations of TC by 113.79 and 104.60%; TN by 100 and 87.50%; and available P by 172% and 415%, respectively. Furthermore, both treatments significantly reduced exchangeable Al<sup>3+</sup> but increased Mg<sup>2+</sup> and soil moisture content 4-6 weeks after planting. Exchangeable K<sup>+</sup> was significantly increased by BSB. The BSB and NPK + BSB significantly improved TC and TN in all aggregate fractions with minimal effect in the 0.25-1.00 mm fraction. However, the overall percentile TC and TN increase by these treatments was more in the macro- (4.75-0.25 mm) than in the micro (&lt; 0.25 mm) aggregates. Application of BSB and NPK + BSB significantly improved cucumber fruit weight by 12- and 24-fold, respectively, compared to NPK treatment. The study demonstrated that BSB enhanced soil fertility, while NPK + BSB further improved cucumber productivity. In addition, these treatments have the potential to substantially sequester carbon and nitrogen more in macro- than micro- aggregates.</p> 2022-06-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227208 Nutritional and sensory properties of biscuits based on wheat (<i>Triticum aestivum</i>), beniseed seed (<i>Sesamum indicum</i>) and sweet potato (<i>Ipomoea batatas</i>) composite flour 2022-06-22T17:55:12+00:00 O. Ariyo o.ariyo@ui.edu.ng B.I. Dudulewa o.ariyo@ui.edu.ng M.A. Atojoko o.ariyo@ui.edu.ng <p>This study evaluated the nutritional and sensory characteristics of biscuits produced from wheat/beniseed seed/sweet potato composite flour. Four flour samples from wheat, defatted beniseed and sweet potato flours in the ratios of 100:0:0; 80:10:10; 70:20:10; and 60:30:10, respectively with other ingredients were used to produce biscuits. Samples were analyzed for proximate content, vitamins and minerals, antinutrients, sensory and microbial properties using standard procedures. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA. Crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre, ash, carbohydrate and energy composition of samples ranged from 8.39-12.07 g 100-g<sup>–1</sup>, 17.52-22.59 mg 100-g<sup>–1</sup>, 0.60-4.20 g 100-g<sup>–1</sup>, 1.18-2.29 g 100-g<sup>–1</sup>, 67.11-60.53 g 100-g<sup>–1</sup> and 460.34-491.11 kCal 100-g<sup>–1</sup>, respectively. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, iron and zinc contents ranged from 474.50-843.75, 498.75-845.00, 267.50-568.50, 92.50-105.75, 82.25- 288.25, 3.88-5.99, and 0.07-0.32 mg 100-g<sup>–1</sup>, respectively. Beta-carotene, thiamin, niacin and tocopherol contents were 429.20-441.93 μg 100-g<sup>–1</sup>, 4.03-4.83, 17.87-19.57 and 54.87-62.77 mg 100-g<sup>–1</sup>, respectively. Most nutrients increasedwith increasing beniseed substitution levels. Phytate andoxalate contents of samples&nbsp; here within permissible levels. Sensory properties decreased from 7.78-5.60, 7.90-5.00, 7.00-6.53, 6.80-5.83, 7.87-5.23 for colour, taste, crispiness, texture and general acceptability, respectively. Number of colonies were negligible after storage for 21days. Beniseed (20%) and sweet potato (10%) flours substitution for wheat flour produced acceptable biscuits with higher protein and micronutrient composition and acceptable sensory properties than wholly wheat flour and other composite flour biscuits.</p> 2022-06-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227209 Fertility capability classification for agricultural land use planning in the beach sands area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria 2022-06-23T15:52:48+00:00 B.T Udoh drbasseyudoh@yahoo.com T.O. Ibia drbasseyudoh@yahoo.com <p>Soil survey and fertility capability classification (FCC) were carried out in an area mostly underlain by the beach ridge sands (BRS) parent material in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The study applied the FCC in agricultural land use planning for efficient land management and optimal agricultural productivity of the beach soils. Field and laboratory data were obtained from 40 pedons located across eight Local Government Areas on the BRS parent material. From the results of field and laboratory studies, 11 FCC units were identified in the area. Based on similarities in certain soil profile characteristics, the 11 FCC units were grouped into four agro-ecological units (AEUs): (i) poorly drained FCC units with sandy topsoil over sandy subsoil, grouped to form AEU-A, covered 65.00% of study area; (ii) well drained FCC units with sandy topsoil over sandy subsoil, formed AEU-B and covered 22.50% of study area; (iii) poorly drained FCC units with sandy topsoil over loamy subsoil or loamy top- and sub- soils, formed AEU-C and covered 7.50% of study area; (iv) well drained FCC units with sandy topsoil over loamy subsoil, which formed AEU-D, occupied 5.00% of study area. The result of this study has shown that FCC can be employed as a simple but efficient tool in agricultural land use planning. Major soil profile characteristics used to differentiate land units within the beach sands area of Akwa Ibom State are drainage and texture.</p> 2022-06-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227210 Agricultural productivity and access to market among farmers in Ekiti State, Nigeria 2022-06-22T16:37:49+00:00 O.I. Akintayo oluremijay@yahoo.com M.O. Oyedokun oluremijay@yahoo.com M.O. Akindele oluremijay@yahoo.com <p>Agricultural productivity and the performance of smallholder agriculture in developing countries have been noted to be affected by access to markets. This study examined the access of smallholder farmers to input and output markets and the factors that affect agricultural productivity. A total of 336 smallholder farmers were selected in Ekiti State through multi-stage sampling technique. Data were obtained through the administration of structured questionnaire while descriptive statistics and Ordinary Least Square regression were used to analyze the data. The smallholder farms in the study area were characterized by non-uniform fragmented plots.<br>Average age of the farmers was 48.12 years with mean farming experience of 24.97 years. Using proxies which include distance to physical markets and good roads, results of analysis showed that poor market access had significant (p = 5%) negative influence on agricultural productivity (t = –2.0). Access to infrastructure particularly good rural roads also had significant effect on agricultural productivity. Other factors such as farmers’ formal education (t = 4.50), farming experience (t = 3.39) and commercialization level (t = 1.86) also significantly affect farmers’ agricultural productivity. For the enhancement of access to markets and agricultural productivity, it was recommended that rural infrastructure such as good roads be put in place by appropriate agencies.</p> 2022-06-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227211 Assessment of vegetation dynamics and forest loss using google earth engine and multi-temporal sentinel-2 imagery 2022-06-22T16:55:55+00:00 D. Omar omar.dm@unilorin.edu.ng M. Idrees omar.dm@unilorin.edu.ng H. Ahmadu omar.dm@unilorin.edu.ng A. Yusuf omar.dm@unilorin.edu.ng O. Ipadeola omar.dm@unilorin.edu.ng A. Babalola omar.dm@unilorin.edu.ng A. Abdulyekeen omar.dm@unilorin.edu.ng <p>This study evaluated regional vegetation dynamics and changes between 2015 and 2020 using Google earth engine (GEE) platform and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from the multi-petabyte catalogue of sentinel-2 imageries. Using the computational capability of GEE, yearly mean NDVI from 2015 to 2020 were computed using level C-1 product. Subsequently, each of the NDVI images was classified into four land cover classes; water bodies, non-vegetated, grassland /cropland /shrubs, and forest using NDVI threshold values of &lt; 0.01, 0.01-0.20, 0.20-0.30 and &gt; 0.30, respectively. The classified maps allowed for the assessment of yearly variation in vegetation and changes between 2015 and 2020. Result showed that non-vegetated area increased from 18.53% in 2015 to 42.56% in 2020 (~ 25.00% gain), the forest area reduced to 6.78% in 2020 compared to 23.76% measured in 2015 (~ 17.00% loss in forest); whereas water bodies and grassland/cropland/shrubs remained relatively constant (0.21 and ~ 50.00%, respectively) across the years studied. Presently, the forest land was estimated to be about 2, 371.131 km<sup>2</sup> (~ 6.70%) of the total land mass, grassland/cropland/shrubs occupied 17, 770.79 km<sup>2</sup> (~ 50.07%), non-vegetated area was slightly less than half with 15, 274.85 km<sup>2</sup> (~ 43.04%) and water bodies occupied 75.68 km<sup>2</sup> (~ 0.21%).</p> 2022-06-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227212 Assessment of deforestation in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State, Nigeria: Causes, effects, and reduction strategies 2022-06-23T15:56:33+00:00 A.O., Ibrahim adenijifemi2@yahoo.com O.A. Adeniji adenijifemi2@yahoo.com A.L. Adejoba adenijifemi2@yahoo.com E.A. Irunokhai adenijifemi2@yahoo.com P.O. Osaguona adenijifemi2@yahoo.com S.A. Alaye adenijifemi2@yahoo.com B.S. Ojo adenijifemi2@yahoo.com <p>The study assessed the causes, effects as well as providing strategies for reducing deforestation in Mashegu Local Government Area, Niger State, Nigeria. Simple random sampling technique was employed in the study; 5 wards out of the 10 available in the Local Government Area were randomly selected. A total of 150 copies of questionnaire were randomly administered with 30 respondents selected in each ward. Out of the 150 respondents, 16 respondents were discountenanced, leaving a total of 134 sampled respondents. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages while tables and chart were used to present the results. The results revealed that majority (71%) of the respondents were males, while the rest were females. Majority of the respondents were between the productive ages of 30-49 years representing 72% while age 50 and above accounted for only 11%. In terms of education, 86% of the respondents attained both primary and secondary school education while 4% had no formal education. Farming (31%) is the major cause of deforestation in the study area while mining recorded only 1%. The major effect of deforestation in the study area is soil erosion (29%), closely followed by high temperature (19%) and other environmental hazards accounted for only 2%. The best strategy for reducing deforestation in the study area as suggested by the respondents is through afforestation and reforestation with a response of 48%. The study would enable forestry policy makers, other stakeholders and even farmers in the study area to be better informed about the implications of deforestation and seek innovative means and ways to combat its menace.</p> 2022-06-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227213 Characterization, classification, and suitability evaluation of soils formed in fluvial deposits within eastern part of Kogi State in Nigeria for rice and maize production 2022-06-22T17:34:07+00:00 M.E. Ukabiala successfulmadu@yahoo.com P.I. Ezeaku successfulmadu@yahoo.com J. Kolo successfulmadu@yahoo.com C.P. Umeugokwe successfulmadu@yahoo.com F.C. Okenmuo successfulmadu@yahoo.com <p>The impact of rice and maize production on food security in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. The aim of this research was to characterize, classify and evaluate the suitability of soils formed in fluvial deposits within eastern part of Kogi State in Nigeria for rice and maize production. This was supported by the fact that the knowledge of the characteristics and soil groups of fluvial deposits in soils is an integral part in soil suitability evaluation as well as management. Four (4) soil profile pits were sunk within the research area. The pedons<br>were located within the 19a mapping unit of the soil map of Nigeria which has the fluvial deposits. Pedons were adequately described as soil samples were collected from pedogenic horizons, and preserved in well-labelled polyethylene bags, transported to the Laboratory for analyses. The findings revealed that the soils were characterized by dominant gray (10YR4/1) and dark reddish gray (10R4/1) in the surface soils and dominance of various shades of gray in the subsurface soils. Most of the soil structures were single-grained and subangular blocky at the surface and subsurface soils respectively. The soil texture was sandy clay loam and sandy loam in the A horizons. The soil reaction showed mean values of 6.1 and 5.5 at the surface and subsurface horizons with base saturation highest (91%) at C1 horizon of 19a<sub>3 </sub>pedon. The pedons were classified as inceptisols, and were currently not suitable (N<sub>1</sub>) for rice cultivation but marginally suitable (S<sub>3</sub>) for maize cultivation.</p> 2022-06-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227214 Effect of fungicides and spray regimes against <i>Phytophthora</i> leaf blight disease of taro cultivars in Nsukka, Southeastern Nigeria 2022-06-23T15:59:03+00:00 T.E. Omeje egwuchukwu2010@gmail.com S.U. Awere egwuchukwu2010@gmail.com K.I. Ugwuoke egwuchukwu2010@gmail.com <p>Effects of fungicide types and spray regimes were assessed on <em>Phytophthora</em> leaf blight disease during the early and late cropping seasons in Nsukka, southeastern Nigeria. The field&nbsp; experiment was laid out in 3 × 3 × 5 factorial in randomized complete block design with three replications in early and late cropping seasons of taro, respectively. The factors consisted of three <em>Colocasia esculenta</em> cultivars (Nachi (purple taro/Nce003), Odogolo (green taro/Nce<sub>002</sub>) and Ugwuta (Coco-India/Nce<sub>001</sub>); two fungicides (Ridomil Gold 66 WP plus, Ridomil Gold + Champ Drill Prill 50.00%:50.00% mixture and control); and five spray regimes (no spray, 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks spray). Results showed that there were significant variations in disease incidence among the fungicides, spray regimes, cultivars and between seasons at 90, 120 and 150 days after planting. Disease incidences and severity varied among the fungicides, spray regimes, cultivars and between the seasons. The results on establishment percentage significantly differed among the cultivars and cropping seasons. Ugwuta cultivar significant had the highest establishment percentage in both cropping seasons at 15 and 30 days after planting. The growth attributes on plant height (cm) and number of leaves significantly varied among the fungicides, spray regimes, cultivars and between cropping seasons. Ridomil Gold 66 WP at weekly spray regime performed best compared to other fungicides and spray regimes. There were significant variations among the cultivars and cropping seasons at the sampling periods. Tuber yield significantly differed among the fungicides, spray regimes, cultivars and cropping seasons at harvest. Ridomil Gold 66 WP at weekly spray regimes, Odogolo cultivar and early cropping season performed best in all yield traits at harvest.</p> 2022-06-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227236 Capability groupings of some nun river floodplain soils of Bayelsa State, Southern Nigeria 2022-06-23T16:00:57+00:00 A.A. Dickson j.o.tate@ndu.edu.ng J.O. Tate j.o.tate@ndu.edu.ng P.T. Ogboin j.o.tate@ndu.edu.ng <p>Nine Nun River floodplain soils in Bayelsa State were evaluated using Land Capability Classification (LCC), Land Capability Index (LCI) and Fertility Capability Classification (FCC) systems. The LCC grouped most soil mapping units (SMUs) into class II except NDU3. Odi (ODI1), Koroama (KRM1) and Niger Delta University (NDU1) were grouped in IInf0; ODI2, KRM2 and NDU2 in IIwnf0; ODI3 and KRM3 in IIwnf1 and NDU3 in Vwnf3, respectively. Indicating suitability for wide range of arable crops. The LCI grouped ODI1, KRM1 and NDU1 in class II while ODI2, ODI3, KRM2, KRM3, NDU2 and NDU3, in class III for annual crops. For perennial crops, KRM1 and NDU1 were grouped in class II, ODI1, KRM2 and NDU2 in class III while ODI2, ODI3, KRM3 and NDU3, in class IV, respectively. The FCC grouped ODI1 in La- and ODI3 into Lga-e. On the other hand, KRM1 was grouped in La-e while KRM2, KRM3 and NDU3 in Lga-ek. The identified limiting fertility constraints were wetness, flooding, low exchangeable K<sup>+</sup>, Ca<sup>2+</sup> and Mg<sup>2+</sup> concentration, soil acidity as promoted by Al<sup>3+</sup> toxicity, texture and drainage. LCI and FCC identified texture as a major constraint with LCI placing emphasis on soil colour while FCC identified K<sup>+</sup> deficiency as a limitation. Wetness, flooding, low nutrient capital of exchangeable K<sup>+</sup>, Ca<sup>2+</sup> and Mg<sup>2+</sup>, soil acidity and Al<sup>3+</sup> toxicity, texture and drainage were key to land evaluation in the study area. Flood control, improved drainage, liming and adequate fertilization practices including organic matter conservation should be adopted for improved land management.</p> 2022-06-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227237 Economic analysis of palm oil processing in Odogbolu Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria 2022-06-23T16:02:42+00:00 M.M. Sanusi sanusimm@funaab.edu.ng S.D. Idowu sanusimm@funaab.edu.ng D. Akerele sanusimm@funaab.edu.ng T.S. Olabode sanusimm@funaab.edu.ng <p>The study analyzed economic implication of palm oil processing in Odogbolu Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria. A purposive sampling procedure was employed to select 90 respondents for the study with the aid of a questionnaire. Data generated were analyzed using descriptive statistics, budgetary technique and regression analyses. The majority (81.10%) of the palm oil processors were female, 51.10% had no formal education and most (78.90%) of the processors used the traditional method of processing. The costs and returns analysis indicates that palm oil processing is a profitable venture with an average gross margin of ₦158, 404.00 and net return of ₦125, 301.00 per processing cycle. The profitability index (0.32) revealed that for every one Naira invested in the enterprise, a profit of 32 kobo was obtained. Furthermore, the regression analysis showed that the factors affecting net returns obtained from palm oil processing were processing method (p &lt; 0.10), processing experience (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.01), marital status (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.01), education (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.01) and household size (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.05). It was concluded that palm oil processing is a profitable enterprise in the study area. Thus, the study recommends that processors should be educated on improved/modern methods of processing.</p> 2022-06-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227238 Growth response of <i>Garcinia kola</i> (Heckel) plant to natural shade in a rainforest environment of Nigeria 2022-06-23T15:08:17+00:00 C.I. Akintan cornial2000@gmail.com A.O. Akintan cornial2000@gmail.com O.O. Sobola cornial2000@gmail.com L.A. Akomolede cornial2000@gmail.com <p>Sustainable production of <em>Garcinia kola</em> can be achieved through the establishment of its plantation with the right silvicultural requirements. The growth response of <em>Garcinia kola</em> (Heckel) plant under a <em>Tectona grandis </em>L. plantation and open field was studied for three years. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) involving three replicates per treatment. The treatments were shade from <em>Tectona grandis</em> (Teak) and control (open field without shade where fresh clear-felling/harvesting of <em>Tectona grandis </em>(Teak) has just been carried out). Measurement of treatment effects on growth of <em>Garcinia kola</em> commenced six months after planting and was repeated at six-month intervals, while soil temperature was measured at two week intervals. Significantly (<em>P</em> ≤ 0.05) higher differences were observed after the first year in height, collar diameter, and crown width on the shaded plant. The soil temperature for the shaded field was significantly (<em>P</em> ≤ 0.05) lower than the control field. Hence it is recommended that sustainable production of <em>Garcinia kola</em> through plantation establishment should be done under the shade of older trees.</p> 2022-06-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227239 Semen characteristics of Nigerian roosters fed diets containing <i>Curcuma longa</i> powder 2022-06-23T16:04:53+00:00 C.E. Dim chinonso.dim@unn.edu.ng S.O. Ekere chinonso.dim@unn.edu.ng H.O. Pius chinonso.dim@unn.edu.ng <p>Semen quality is critical to avian reproduction and chiefly influenced by feeding. Improving the seminal features of local poultry with dietary technologies is significant to fortifying man’s deficient dietary resource. Hence, this study evaluated the semen quality indices of Nigerian roosters fed grower diets containing different levels of <em>Curcuma longa</em> powder (CLP) in a 70-day feeding trial. The experiment randomly placed test roosters (n = 36) into four distinct groups (T<sub>1</sub>-T<sub>4</sub>), having replications of 3 birds per replicate in a completely randomized design. The birds were fed ad libitum on grower feeds containing CLP inclusions according to groups, i.e., T<sub>1</sub>, T<sub>2</sub>, T<sub>3</sub>, and T<sub>4</sub> respectively had 0, 20, 35, and 50 g of CLP kg<sup>–1</sup> feed. Routine vaccinations and prophylaxis was duly administered during experimentation. Semen collection and sampling for physical seminal features were conducted and analyzed. The results showed significant (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.05) effects of dietary CLP on sperm concentration (SC), live spermatozoa (LS), and dead spermatozoa (DS) of the test roosters. High SC and LS of roosters fed on CLP diets were significantly different (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.05) from control, just as DS of T<sub>1</sub> was higher (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.05) than CLP groups. Thus, placing Nigerian roosters on diets scented with up to 50 g of <em>Curcuma longa</em> powder per kilogram of feed improved their seminal characteristics.</p> 2022-06-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/as/article/view/227240 Influence of organic nutrient sources on fruit yield and antioxidant properties of Nigerian pumpkin (<i>Cucurbita pepo</i> L.) morphotypes 2022-06-23T16:07:50+00:00 F.M. Oloyede mary.oloyede@uniosun.edu.ng A.D. Oyelade mary.oloyede@uniosun.edu.ng <p>A field experiment was carried out during the early cropping season of 2015 at the Teaching and Research Farm, Osun State University, Ejigbo campus, Nigeria. The study evaluated the effects of organic manures on fruit yield and antioxidant properties of green and orange morphotypes of Nigerian pumpkin. Pumpkin, locally called Elegede in the South-West Nigeria is used as an indigenous vegetable. Cattle and poultry manures were applied as treatments at the rates of 10 t ha<sup>–1</sup> each, there was a control (plants that were treated with neither cattle nor poultry manure). The experiment was a factorial experiment, set out in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. At maturity, the fruits were harvested, yield data were taken and selected fruits across treatments were analyzed for antioxidant activities, phenol, flavonoids, anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin. Results showed that the orange morphotype out-yielded the green morphotype. Also, the yields of the plants that received cattle and poultry manures did not differ statistically. The antioxidant activities and parameters studied across the morphotypes were highest in the control and cattle manure but lowest in plants treated with poultry manure. For optimal yield and bioaccumulation of antioxidants in pumpkin fruits, cattle manure is preferred in the study area.</p> 2022-06-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c)