Growth response of Amaranthus caudatus to earthworm casts and poultry manure application
AbstractThe effect of earth worm cast on the physiomorphological differences of Amaranthus caudatus was studied in the green house of the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan for seven weeks in 1998. Earthworm casts were collected from soils cultivated with maize, cassava and oil palm fields and secondary forest. The result showed that performance of A. caudatus depended to some extent on earthworm casts rate (r=0.977) and casts produced from maize, oil palm crop fields and undisturbed forest, gave a yield advantage over control by 54.8, 19.4 and 64.5% respectively, while that from cassava fields gave yield disadvantage of 22.6%. In addition, growth performance was low on soils treated with cast, which also had a dry matter yield of 0.4 g pot-1 compared to 2.64 and 5.78 g pot-1 obtained from inorganic fertilizer and poultry manure respectively. It can therefore be concluded that application of earthworm casts from fields can play a good role in plant nutrient recycling and not at best solely in soil fertility amendment of degraded soils and as the only source of fertilizer for maximum A. caudatus production.
Keywords: earthworm casts, poultry manure, Amaranthus caudatus, Ibadan, Nigeria
Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences Vol. 11(4) 2005: 445-447