Agro-Science <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="" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a></p> Dept. of Crop Science, University of Nigeria en-US Agro-Science 1119-7455 <div>The Editorial Board of AgroScience and the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka are committed to disseminating the research publications in AgroScience Journal as widely as possible. In line with this commitment, the Editorial Board of AgroScience has adopted the policy of Open Access, with the content licensed under Creative Commons Attrition License (CCBY). On this premise, every author grants to the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka irrevocable, nonexclusive permission to exercise the copyright in the article for the purpose of open dissemination.</div> Effect of exchange rate volatility on Rwandan coffee price and export volumes <p>The main strategy of Rwanda for having a steady growth in coffee export value and revenues was increased sales of speciality coffee. However, global coffee prices are often volatile and Rwanda has little control over the fluctuating global prices. This paper analysed the effect of exchange rate volatility on the price and exports of Rwanda coffee. In order to respond to this question, the monthly time series data on bilateral Rwanda coffee exports and real effective exchange rates from January 2001 to December 2016 were analysed. The cointegration methods and error correction model using the autoregressive distributed lag procedure andGlosten, Jagannathan, and Runkle-Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity (GJR-GARCH) model were used to analyse the data. The findings showed that the exchange rate volatility resulted in an increase in Rwandan coffee export price in the long run by 1.5% and a decrease in the short run by 0.2%. The findings also showed that the exchange rate volatility affected coffee export volumes in the long run and the short run by 44.4% and 3.8%, respectively. The real income in importing countries increased coffee prices in the long run by 3.0% and coffee export volumes in the long run and the short run by 26.9% and 38.5%, respectively. A review of monetary policy to address the issue of volatility and hedging system adoption in the Rwanda coffee sector should be done in order to stabilize the exchange rate and to consequently avoid its bad effects on coffee price and export volumes.</p> A. Kabayiza R. Muhire S. Nsabimana M. Kabarungi Y.B. Ningabire F. Niyitanga Copyright (c) 2021-12-29 2021-12-29 21 1 1 6 10.4314/as.v21i1.1 Planting date and fertilizer type influenced soil quality indices and soybean (<i>Glycine max</i> L.) yields in derived savannah of Nigeria <p>Soybean is grown in many parts of Northern Nigeria, with little climatic challenges and soil organic matter. There is need to investigate possible influence of planting date of the crop in Southeastern Nigeria, an environment that is rather foreign to the crop. A study was carried out in 2018 and 2019 cropping seasons at Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, to evaluate the influence of different planting dates and fertilizer types on selected soil physical and chemical properties, growth and yield of soybean. A split plot in a randomized complete block design was used with planting date (May and June) as the main plots, while six fertilizer types (poultry-droppings manure 5 t ha<sup>–1</sup>, swine-droppings manure 5 t ha<sup>–1</sup>, rice-husk dust 5 t ha<sup>–1</sup>, NPK 15:15:15 at 150 kg ha<sup>–1</sup>, urea at 100 kg ha<sup>–1</sup> and the control) constituted the sub-plots. At crop maturity, some soil quality indices and pod and grain yields (t ha<sup>–1</sup>) of soybean were assessed. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen contents were significantly (p &lt; 0.05) influenced by both planting date and fertilizer type in 2018 and 2019, while soil pH was improved significantly (p &lt; 0.05) only by fertilizer type in these two cropping seasons. Mean-weight diameter of aggregates, soil bulk density and SOC stock as well as soybean yields were significantly (p &lt; 0.05) influenced by both planting date and fertilizer type in the two seasons. Generally, planting in May improved soil total nitrogen and soybean pod yield whereas planting in June improved the other soil quality indices and soybean grain yield, the best soil amendment in either case being poultry-droppings manure but sometimes parameter-specific. The choice of planting date (May or June) in soybean production in the derived savannah and the soil amendment to use in the enterprise thus has both agronomic and environmental implications. Such a choice would depend on the indices of soil quality and/or the aspects of soybean yields (pod or grain) whose improvements the farmer intends to achieve at crop maturity.</p> J.C. Nwite Copyright (c) 2021-12-29 2021-12-29 21 1 7 14 10.4314/as.v21i1.2 Effect of Ondo State Agricultural Inputs Supply Agency on profitability of crop farmers in Owo Lga, Ondo State, Nigeria <p>This study assessed the effect of Ondo State Agricultural Inputs Supply Agency (OSAISA) on the profitability of crop farmers in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Nigeria. The study specifically described the socio-economic characteristics of arable crop farmers, compared the profitability of OSAISA patronizing food crop farmers (PF) and non-patronizing food crop farmers (NPF) and identified the various constraints encountered by patronizing farmers in dealing with OSAISA. One hundred and twenty food crop farmers random sampling procedure. Information was obtained from the respondents using a well-structured questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed with both descriptive statistics and budgeting technique. Findings revealed that 88.3% and 86.7% of the PF and NPF, respectively were males. About 50.0% of PF and 56.7% of NPF were between 41 and 50 years of age. The net farm income of the PF was greater than the NPF and benefit cost ratio for PF was more sustainable and viable than that of NPF. The major constraint faced by the OSAISA’ PF was inadequate capital to purchase the desired inputs. Based on the results, the study concludes that OSAISA contributes tremendously to the profitability of patronizing farmers in the study area. It is, therefore, recommended that farmers should be given easy access to acquire loan to meet their input demand and farming business in general; including adequate and timely supply of inputs for effective and efficient productivity.</p> A.A. Odeyemi O. Adetarami S.B. Johnson B.A. Oyebamiji Copyright (c) 2021-12-29 2021-12-29 21 1 15 21 10.4314/as.v21i1.3 Effects of animal manures on enzymes activities and physico-chemical properties of a degraded humid ultisol <p>Application of animal manures for soil amendment plays a major role in the improvement of soil properties and enzymatic activities of a degraded Ultisol. This study assessed the effects of poultry manure (PM) and swine manure (SM) on the activities of catalase and urease enzymes and some soil properties. The PM and SM were applied at the rate of 30 t ha<sup>–1</sup> each on experimental plots arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. Soil samples were collected at day 0, 14, 28, 42, 56, 70 and 84 from 0-15 and 15-30 cm depths and analyzed for catalase and urease enzymes and some soil properties using standard procedures. The results showed increase in soil pH (in H<sub>2</sub>O) from 4.0 to 5.4 following manure application. At 0-15 cm soil depth, PM and SM recorded 28.1 and 28.8% increases in soil pH (in H<sub>2</sub>O), respectively. Soil organic carbon was highest (2.6 g kg<sup>–1</sup>) at 0-15 cm depth for soil amended with SM while the lowest value of 1.1 g kg<sup>–1</sup>was obtained at 15-30 cm depth for soil unamended with SM. In PM-amended soil, catalase activities ranged from 1.32 to 6.77 mg g<sup>–1</sup> while its activities in SM-treated soil significantly (p &lt; 0.05) varied between 1.55 and 8.11 mg g<sup>–1</sup>. Urease showed ranges of 0.72-3.90 mg g<sup>–1</sup> and 0.96-4.71 mg g<sup>–1</sup> in PM-amended and SM-treated soils, respectively. The results uphold that animal manures improve soil properties and are enzymatically controlled.</p> A.I. Afangide N.H. Okoli M.A. Okon N.T. Egboka P. Inyang Copyright (c) 2021-12-29 2021-12-29 21 1 22 26 10.4314/as.v21i1.4 Label information, nutritional composition and screening for bromate in breads sold in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria <p>Non-use of potassium bromate in bread making and printing of reproducible nutrition information/claims on bread labels are vital for consumers’ rights and protection in Nigeria. These norms are rarely observed by bread makers in Umuahia. This study evaluated nutrition information on labels, presence of potassium bromate, chemical composition and sensory characteristics of breads sold in Umuahia. Two structured questionnaires were constructed. The first was administered to 15 randomly selected full-time bread vendors in Umuahia metropolis to identify brands of market bread. The second was designed to analyze sensory quality of breads. Five sliced and five unsliced bread samples randomly selected from identified markets were analyzed for sensory properties using a 20-member sensory panelist, and for nutrient and phytochemical composition. Twenty-seven bread samples were identified; all labeled bromate-free, had varying recipes and nutrient claim/information on labels. The bread samples were bromate-free, high in carbohydrate (49.20% in B10 to 65.69% in B8) and moisture (22.67% in B8 to 38.16% in B10), but relatively low in crude protein (6.65% in B3 to 9.45% in B7) and fat (0.26% in B8 to 0.66% in B1). Ash contents ranged from 1.26% in B6 to 1.86% in B3and fiber contents from 1.24% in B2 to 1.76% in B5. Phytonutrients were low; and oxalate content ranged from 0.66 to 0.95%, tannin from 87.78 to 125.40 mg 100g<sup>–1</sup> and phytate from 2.02 to 3.03 mg 100g<sup>–1</sup>. The bread samples had sensory scores ranging from 4.60 to 8.10 for over-all acceptability. They were all acceptable to panelists, but with B1 (sliced) and B8 (unsliced) most acceptable. Bread samples sold in Umuahia were bromate-free, varied in recipe, nutrition claims, and nutrient composition but were acceptable to panelists.&nbsp;</p> F.U. Ugwuona I.S. Asogwa N.A. Obeta F.N. Okeke Copyright (c) 2021-12-29 2021-12-29 21 1 27 33 10.4314/as.v21i1.5 Mushroom consumption pattern among residents of Ibadan Metropolis in Oyo State, Nigeria <p>The study examined the consumption of mushroom among the residents of Ibadan metropolis in Oyo State Nigeria. A two-stage random sampling procedure was used to select a total of 250 respondents. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information from the selected respondents. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis were used in analyzing the data. The results showed that majority (66%) of the respondents were within the age range 31-60 years. The majority (68.8%) of the respondents were married and possessed tertiary education (52%). Most (87.2%) of the respondents ate mushrooms but 50.8% of the respondents ate mushroom occasionally. Majority (70%) of the respondents indicated that mushroom was not readily available. Most (84%) of them preferred mushroom to other sources of protein. Nutritive value (1<sup>st</sup>) and organoleptic characteristics (2<sup>nd</sup>) were the main reasons for consuming mushroom. The regression analysis showed that age (t = 2.099, p = 0.031), educational level (t = 2.310, p = 0.015), monthly income (t = 5.037, p = 0.000), household size (t = 4.260, p=0.001), mushroom availability (t = 2.740, p=0.000) and awareness of benefits of mushroom (t = 2.710, p=0.000) significantly predicted its consumption. The major constraints to mushroom consumption in the study area included seasonal production (92.0%), poor shelf life (76.0%), and financial constraints (58.8%). Based on the findings, the study therefore recommends that for all-year-round availability, mushroom farming on the domestication should be encouraged. Intensified training and awareness campaign should be provided to the populace on domestication of mushroom by the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.</p> T.O. Oguntoye A.A. Adesope O.A. Fatoki O.V. Arowolo O.O. Olawale A.O. Oyetoki Copyright (c) 2021-12-29 2021-12-29 21 1 34 38 10.4314/as.v21i1.6 Stem portion and number of stakes influence on growth and yield of cassava variety in the South East, Nigeria <p>Investigations were conducted to study the effect of stem portion and number of stakes per stand on crop establishment, growth and yield of cassava variety NR 8082 in Umudike Southeastern Nigeria during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 cropping seasons. In each year, the experiment was laid out as a 3 × 3 factorial, in randomized complete block design with three replications. Treatments consisted of three stem portions of different physiological ages (top, middle and basal) and three numbers of stakes per stand (1, 2 and 3). The middle and basal stem portions significantly increased percent establishment, plant height and leaf area index at 3 months after planting (MAP) but had no effect on number of storage roots per plant. The best stem portion for storage root yield was, however, the top portion which produced the highest yield on average. Number of stakes per stand did not significantly affect stem girth, number of nodes per plant and leaf area index, but the use of 1 stake per stand increased number of storage roots per plant, root weight and storage oot yield in 2017/2018 cropping season. Number of stakes per stand did not significantly influence storage root yield across the two seasons of evaluation. Interactions between stem portion and number of stakes per stand did not significantly affect storage root yield of NR 8082 high cassava variety in both cropping seasons. Based on the findings, the use of 1 stake per stand is recommended for high root yields of NR 8082 cassava variety under conditions of low soil fertility in Umudike, South East Nigeria. Although the top portion enhanced root yield, farmers could use any of the stem portions, since the middle and basal parts gave satisfactory yields and had better establishment than the former.</p> D.A. Okpara D.C. Udeh O.K. Akinbo O.N. Eke-Okoro A.O. Olojede Copyright (c) 2021-12-29 2021-12-29 21 1 39 44 10.4314/as.v21i1.7 Physiology and bromatology of <i>Oryctolagus cunicullus</i> L. 1758 fed browse legume with enzyme levels <p>The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of feeding rabbits with Maxigrain® (M) enzyme supplemented <em>Gliricidia sepium</em> leaf meal (GLM) on their physiology, performance characteristics, and nutrients digestibility. Twenty weaned rabbits of mixed sexes, 5-6 weeks old, were randomly allotted to five dietary treatments including 0 g M which was soybean without M (control) and GLM supplemented with M at 50, 100, 150 and 200 g M per kilogramme of GLM. There were four rabbits per treatment and one rabbit as replicate in a completely randomized design. There were no significant (p &gt; 0.05) treatment effects in all physiological and performance indices as well as those of crude fat, fibre and NFE digestibilities. There were variations (p &lt; 0.05) due to the treatment effects on dry matter, crude protein and ash digestiblities. This implies that the feeding of soft faeces directly from the caecum called coprophagy mechanism in rabbits has its concomitant nutritional benefits. This advantageous benefit can enable rabbit to effectively and efficiently utilize forage or forage-based diet with or without enzyme supplementation.</p> A.M. Ogungbesan O.E. Fasina E.O. Alagbe O.O. Eniolorunda Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 45 50 10.4314/as.v21i1.8 Morphological characterization and response of red flower rag leaf (<i>Crassocephalum crepidioides</i> Benth S. Moore) to organic and inorganic fertilizers and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus <p>Red flower rag leaf (<em>Crassocephalum crepidioides</em>) is one of the underutilized vegetables consumed globally. Pot trials were conducted to characterize 15 morphologically distinct accessions of <em>C.</em> <em>crepidioides</em> and assess the effects of treatment combinations of eggshell, NPK 15:15:15, poultry manure and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus<br>(<em>Glomus mosseae</em>) as soil amendments on growth and yield-related characters of <em>C. crepidioides</em>. Thereafter, 48 seedlings of the best performing accession were transplanted into perforated polythene bags filled with 7 kg of heat-sterilized soil. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design with three replicates. Treatment combinations were incorporated into in the polythene bags 1 week after transplanting, while control plants received no amendments. The results showed that accession NH/GKB-15 had the highest plant height (29.83 cm), stem length (27.67 cm), number of leaves (15) and length of internode at node 3 (1.13 cm) and node 4 (1.17 cm). The growth and yield characters of this best performing accession (NH/GKB-15) in response to soil amendments showed that poultry manure produced the tallest plants (55.17 cm), longest and widest stems (48.35 and 0.66 cm), longest and widest leaves (16.39 and 6.26 cm, respectively), and higher number of inflorescence (2.13). With NPK 15:15:15 the seedlings did not survive. Poultry manure should therefore be utilized for better plant nutrition and faster growth of <em>C. crepidioides</em> seedlings as well as for safer consumption of the leafy vegetable.</p> O.J. Olawuyi C.U. Ezeanya U. Orkpeh Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 51 60 10.4314/as.v21i1.9 Determinants of resource use efficiencies among lowland rice farmers of Enugu State, Nigeria <p>The gap in supply and demand of rice could be due to observable differentials in the allocative efficiency of the rice farmers in Nigeria. Therefore, the study focused on the determinants of resource-use efficiencies and profitability of lowland rice farmers of Enugu State, Nigeria. A multistage sampling technique was used to collect cross-sectional data from 300 smallholder rice farmers across the six agricultural zones of the State. The gross margin (GM) analysis was used to estimate the profitability while the marginal value productmarginal factor cost (MVP-MFC) was used to evaluate the efficiency of rice farming. The Stochastic Frontier Cost Function was also used to estimate the determinants of resource use efficiency among lowland rice farmers in Enugu state. The results from the GM showed that rice production is profitable with an average rate of returns on investment (ROI) of 2.80. The MVP-MFC analysis showed that all the input factors hypothesized were over-utilised indicating the existence of large-scale resource-use inefficiency among lowland rice farmers of the state. Education and age were the only socio-economic variables that affected the allocative efficiency of the rice farmers. The study recommends a farm-level policy directed towards the encouragement of younger adults since they are more likely to adopt innovation and boost efficiency and investment in extension education for advisory services to facilitate resource-use efficiencies.</p> T.C. Okoh P.I. Opata I.I. Umaru Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 61 67 10.4314/as.v21i1.10 Comparative study on the phenology, gender and yield components of cucumber (<i>Cucumis sativus</i> L.) varieties <p>The intensity of sex expression is important in crops, including cucumber, since sex form and flowering have direct effects on date of harvesting and yield. Two groups of cucumber comprising a native variety (Odukpani) and elite varieties (Griffaton, Poinsett, Ashley, Marketmore and Monarch) were evaluated in 2015 and 2016 cropping seasons at the Teaching and Research Farm, College of Agriculture, Garkawa, Plateau State; to assess flowering, sex expression and some yield traits. The experimental design was randomized complete block design with the 6 cucumber varieties as the treatments, replicated five times. The two groups differed significantly (p &lt; 0.05) in phonological, flowering and yield traits assessed. The elite varieties were superior with respect to flowering traits, as they flowered early. The intra-population hierarchical cluster analysis of quantitative traits grouped the elite varieties in one main cluster and the native variety (Odukpani) alienated as an outlier. The cluster plots showed that Odukpani was robust in vegetative growth, produced few but larger fruit size and flowering was delayed for over two weeks. Conversely, the elite varieties flowered early, produced more flowers and recorded superior number of fruits per plant. The profuse production of pistillate flowers by the elite varieties had pronounced yield advantage over the local variety. Hybridization between the two groups of cucumber would make a mark in the drive for sustainable cucumber fruit yield.</p> W. Manggoel M.I. Uguru P.E. Ogbonna Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 68 74 10.4314/as.v21i1.11 Growth performance, haematology and serum lipid profile of broiler chickens fed three varieties of ripe <i>Solanum melongena</i> fruit meal supplements <p>The growth, haematological and serum characteristics of Cobb broilers (n = 112) fed inclusions of ripe <em>Solanum melongena</em> fruit meal (SMFM) varieties were incorporated in a 56-day trial. The completely randomized design was employed in assigning day-old chicks to four labeled groups (T1-T4) with four replications. Dietary treatment of SMFM varieties was according to study groups such that T1 had Abia var. Okpokwe, T2 contained Nsukka Ind × Jos, T3 enclosed Nsukka Ind × Nsukka Local, while T4 was control. Daily feed intake and weekly weights furnished the growth assay of the chicks, while their blood assessment was done at the termination of the study. Data analyzed showed T4 to have better (p &lt; 0.05) final weights (2740.50 g), feed intake (131.39 g) and weight gain (48.13 g) than SMFM groups. Red blood cell count was highest (p &lt; 0.05) in T2 and T3 (10.87 × 106 and 10.88 × 10<sup>6</sup> mm<sup>3</sup>, respectively) and lowly in T1 and T4 (10.04 × 10<sup>6</sup> mm<sup>3</sup> each). Haemoglobin concentration was highest (p &lt; 0.05) in T2 and T3 (8.73, 8.98 g dL<sup>–</sup>) and lowest in T4 (7.55 g dL<sup>–1</sup>). Treated birds had better (p &lt; 0.05) serum cholesterol and lipoproteins than the control. Triglyceride of T4 (117.75 g dL<sup>–1</sup>) was different (p &lt; 0.05) from T1 and T2 (107.00, 107.67 g dL<sup>–1</sup>) but similar (p &gt; 0.05) to T3 (109.00 g dL<sup>–1</sup>). The SMFM varieties, mostly Nsukka Ind × Jos (T2), independently promoted superior haematology and serum lipid profile but poor growth of test broilers.</p> C.E. Dim C.A. Nwankwo C.O. Mefoh V.N. Onyia Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 75 81 10.4314/as.v21i1.12 Determination of Kolgrace bio-fertilizer rate for optimum greengram (<i>Vigna radiata</i> L. Wilczek) production in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria <p>Greengram productivity has been improved by application of farmyard manures in the last two decades; however, these manures are not readily available as at when needed. In some cases, they are available but in limited supply. Kolgrace bio-fertilizer, a novel commercial product of the Association of Organic Agricultural Practitioners could serve as a superior alternative to farmyard manures. Hence, a field experiment was carried out at the Teaching &amp; Research Farm of the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, Nigeria during the 2015 cropping season to evaluate the effects of five rates (0.00, 0.25, 0.50, 1.00, and 2.00 t ha<sup>–1</sup>) of Kolgrace bio-fertilizer on the performance of greengram. The aim was to determine the optimum rate of application of this biofertilizer for greengram production. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with four replications. Data were collected on growth and yield traits, and were subjected to analysis of variance. Results showed that Kolgrace rates significantly (p &lt; 0.01) influenced all the traits measured with exception of fresh pod yield (FPY). Plant height (112 cm), number of leaves (87), stem girth (1.43 mm) and number of flowers (10) at 8 weeks after planting (WAP) were significantly highest with the application of 0.5 t ha<sup>–1</sup> whereas, 0.25 t ha<sup>–1</sup> gave best results for number of pods (42) and pod yield (3.85 t ha <sup>–1</sup>). The application of 0.5 t ha<sup>–1</sup> is, therefore, recommended if the interest of the farmer is sprout, fodder or green manure, and 0.25 t ha<sup>–1</sup> if the interest is for seed production.&nbsp;</p> P.N. Ihejiofor U.N. Ukwu G. Adeoye Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 82 87 10.4314/as.v21i1.13 Production and quality assessment of mayonnaise from blends of soybean oil and african pear (<i>Dacryodes edulis</i>) pulp oil <p>Mayonnaise is an oil-in-water emulsion rich in calorie, micronutrients and fat-soluble vitamins which is produced from dominantly vegetable oil. African pear oil is a highly unsaturated oil, domestically and commercially underutilize with tonnage of postharvest losses. It presently, has little or no industrial attraction for use as commercial ingredient for food production and formulation. The aim therefore is to improve the commercial value of African pear pulp oil for use as a main ingredient in food applications, hence improving its utilization and reducing postharvest losses. Oil was extracted from African pear through Soxhlet extraction using n-hexane as the solvent and the extracted oil was blended with soybean oil in the following ratios: SO100:APO0 (Control), SO0:APO100, SO85:APO15, SO75:APO25, SO65:APO35, and SO50:APO50 for the production of mayonnaise. Some physicochemical properties of the oil blends were evaluated while proximate and sensory properties were also evaluated in the produced mayonnaise. Blending increased the<br>iodine, acid and free fatty acid values of the oil blends and decreased significantly (p &lt; 0.05) the peroxide value. The values ranged from 30.65 to 124.00 g iodine 100g<sup>–1</sup>, 6.85 to 2.57 mg KOH g<sup>–1</sup>, 5.03 to 1.91% and 2.62 to 3.50 meq O<sub>2</sub> kg<sup>–1</sup> for iodine, acid, free fatty acid and peroxide values, respectively. The proximate composition parameters of the mayonnaise samples increased significantly (p &lt; 0.05) after blending. The values ranged from 32.65 to 35.04% for moisture, 1.12 to 1.44% for ash, 30.15 to 37.15% for fat, 1.93 to 2.31% for protein and 25.87 to 34.15% for carbohydrate. Significant improvement was recorded in the values of vitamin E, iodine and viscosity values of the mayonnaise samples after blending compared to the control with values ranging from 4.97 to 22.60 mg 100g<sup>–1</sup> for vitamin E, 28.70 to 88.10 g iodine 100g<sup>–1</sup> for iodine value and 24.70 to 30.13 Pa.s for viscosity. Sensory evaluation showed that the mayonnaise samples were generally acceptable by the panelists. Conclusively, blending soybean oil with African pear oil up to 50:50 could be used in the production of acceptable mayonnaise with higher fat, protein, ash, vitamin E, iodine value and viscosity, thereby reducing its postharvest losses through improved utilization.</p> U.A. Onwuzuruike C.J. Okakpu J. Ndife C.I. Eke Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 88 97 10.4314/as.v21i1.14 Factors influencing input dealers’ performance of extension roles to farmers in Yobe State of Nigeria <p>The study examined factors influencing input dealers’ performance of extension role to farmers in Yobe State of Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling procedure was adopted in selecting 86 input dealers. Primary data were collected from them on socioeconomic characteristics, performance of extension roles, sources of agricultural knowledge and training using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data. Results showed that input dealers were mostly males (98.8%); young and agile with mean age of 41.8 years, 44.2% had tertiary education but 86.0% had no agricultural qualifications. Although input dealers’ performance of extension roles was high (55.8%), they had low training (68.6%) to boost performance. Significant relationships existed between performance of extension roles and type of trade (χ<sup>2</sup> = 25.135, p &lt; 0.05) and membership of input dealers association (χ<sup>2</sup> = 12.550, p &lt; 0.05). Also, a significant positive correlation existed between performance of extension roles and training received (r = 0.33, p &lt; 0.05) and sources of agricultural knowledge (r = 0.25, p &lt; 0.05). It was recommended that input dealers should be strengthened to perform extension roles by enhancing their training and access to sources of agricultural knowledge via institutionalized research, extension, input companies and input dealers’ linkage.</p> E.O. Owoade M. Abubakar A.L. Abdulhakeem J.A. Akinwale Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 98 102 10.4314/as.v21i1.15 Enumeration of carbon and nitrogen contents of water-stable aggregates in layers of topsoils from cultivated and adjacent bush-fallow loamy soils <p>Soil organic carbon (SOC) and total soil nitrogen (TSN) dynamics have both pedological and agronomic basis. Knowledge of their retention within aggregate hierarchies of varying soil textures as influenced by land use change is limited. The capacity of loam (L), clay loam (CL), sandy loam (SL) and sandy clay loam (SCL) soils to retain SOC and TSN in water-stable aggregate (WSA) at 10-cm intervals of 0-30 cm topsoil depths under cultivated and bushfallow/ uncultivated systems was investigated. The soils showed high dispersion ratio and great variations in aggregate silt and clay indices (CL &gt; L &gt; SCL &gt; SL) under both land uses. Across soil depths, the uncultivated CL, SL and SCL soils had moderate to high &gt; 2.00 mm WSA whose reduction due to cultivation impact was more pronounced in SL than in CL soil. Across soil depths and land uses, SOC content seemed higher in the macro- (&gt; 0.50 mm) than in the micro- (&lt; 0.50 mm) aggregates of all the soils while the reverse marked aggregate TSN content in almost all the soils. Cultivation mostly reduced macro-aggregate-associated SOC and TSN in L &gt; CL &gt; SL and in L &gt; SL &gt; CL &gt; SCL soils, respectively. However, cultivation showed no reduction influence on micro-aggregate-associated SOC of all the soils. Cultivation-related reduction in micro-aggregate-associated TSN was more pronounced in the generally more ‘clayey’ CL and SCL than the L and SL soils. So, the potential of bush-fallowing to enhance micro-aggregateassociated TSN storage and stabilization against adverse influence of cultivation depends on soil texture.</p> C.B. Okebalama C.A. Igwe A.O. Onunwa Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 103 113 10.4314/as.v21i1.16 Testing the accuracy of Soil Testing Kit<sup>®</sup> Transchem <p>Soil testing is key to soil fertility management as it serves as a fertilizer application guide to farmers, scientists and consultants. It gives information on soil nutrient status and its supplying capacity. Laboratory (LB) procedures have been the most reliable approach for soil nutrients analyses. However, it is costly and nonpoint. Thus, the use of in–situ testing kit emerges and becomes prominent. Notwithstanding, applicability of soil testing kit must be validated by laboratory test. This work aimed to examine the reliability/suitability of Soil Testing Kit<sup>®</sup> Transchem (SK) in determining selected soil nutrients in Sahel Savannah, Nigeria. Twentyfive replicate soil samples were collected from 12°47’86’’-12°20’96’’N and 4°38’37’’-4°188’02’’E, Kebbi State Nigeria and used to test soil pH, N, P, K and soil organic carbon (SOC) by SK and LB. The SK uses colour chart and comparator for rating nutrients status qualitatively into; low, medium and high and up to very high for P. The LB results were transformed to qualitative data by corresponding the values with soil rating standard<br>into low, medium and high. To perform statistics, weighting was done by assigning weight load to each category; low = 1, medium = 2 and high = 3. The two methods were compared using t-test, regression and descriptive analyses. Results showed non-significant difference between the two methods for soil contents of N, P and K. However, SK poorly estimated soil pH and SOC. Correlation and regression coefficients (r = 0.915 and R<sup>2</sup> = 0.838, respectively) indicated reliability of the SK. It is concluded that SK can be reliably used for N, P, and K but not soil pH and SOC estimation for soils in Sahel savannah of Nigeria.</p> S. Idris A. Rilwan S.A. Abubakar M. Adamu Y. Sadiq F. Abubakar Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 114 116 10.4314/as.v21i1.17 Influence of urea fertilizer on early growth of African Rose Wood (<i>Pterocarpus erinaceous Poir</i>.) seedlings in Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria <p>Influence of urea fertilizer on early growth and development of <em>Pterocarpus erinaceous</em> seedlings were investigated. Two hundred (200) uniformly growing seedlings were transplanted into polythene pots filled with top soil. Four urea fertilizer rates (0.035; 0.065; 0.095; 0.0125 g) and control were applied to the seedlings in the pots 20 × 25 × 25 cm, filled with 800 g of top soil collected from forest plantation. Assessment on the metrical character of the seedlings was done fortnightly. The fertilization of the selected seedlings with urea fertilizer was done round the seedlings in the nursery pots using ring method. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design. The data were subjected to analysis of variance, and means were separated using Duncan’s multiple range test at p &lt; 0.05. The results show that fertilizer rates had significant (p &lt; 0.05) effect on the growth and development of seedlings of <em>P. erinaceous</em>. Seedlings treated with 0.095 g of urea produced the highest mean values of 12.00 ± 0.66 cm; 0.33 ± 0.01 mm; 190 cm2 and 12.65 ± 0.67 for stem height, collar diameter, leaf area (LA) and number of leaves respectively. Seedlings fed with 0.125 g had the lowest values of 11.19 ± 0.61cm for height, 0.32± 0.01 mm for collar diameter 11.54 ± 0.70 for number of leaves and 124 cm<sup>2</sup> for the LA. Urea fertilizers had significant effect on the early growth of the seedlings, therefore fertilization at 0.095 g per pot is recommended for raising <em>P. erinaceous</em> seedlings.</p> A.I. Sodimu R.K. Olaifa G.O. Baba O.M. Dahunsi F.M. Rasheed A.A. Ademuwagun Copyright (c) 2021-12-30 2021-12-30 21 1 117 120 10.4314/as.v21i1.18