Water harvesting method, Nitrogen-Phosphorus fertilizer, Date palm variety, Leaf Tissue N and P, and Soil moisture content.
A field experiment was conducted to study the effects of water harvesting methods, Nitrogen- Phosphorus fertilizer rate and variety on leaf tissue N, and P, and soil moisture content of date palm plants over a period of 32 months (May 2004- December 2006). The trial was sited at the
Date palm Research Sub-station of the Nigerian Institute for Oil palm Research (NIFOR) Dutse (11o 50’N, 09o 25’E) in the Sudan Savanna ecological zone of Nigeria. The treatments consisted of six water harvesting methods (standard 30cm radius basin, single side pit, double side pits, perimeter square basin, side square basin and double square basin). Six NP-fertilizer rates (control, which is zero level fertilizer, 20g N + 10g P, 40g N + 20g P, 60g N + 30g P, 80g N + 40g P and 100g N + 50g
P) and six date palm varieties (Palm 300, Tirgal, Dan Mali, Deglet Noor, Shuwarin C and Shuwarin B) arranged in a Latin square design. Two plants per experimental plot were sampled for plant tissue N, and P analysis, and soil moisture evaluation giving a total of 72 plants. Results from this study revealed that double square basin and double side pits proved more effective in enhancing
more soil moisture and promoted plant tissue P. The application of NP- fertilizer at the rates of 80- 100g N and 40- 50g P/ plant significantly enhanced plant tissue N and P. Deglet Noor and Dan Mali out performed other varieties in terms of soil moisture exploitation and are safely recommended for better date palm production especially within the Sudan ecological zone of Nigeria where this experiment was conducted.