Effect of varying rates of organic fertilizer on the growth and fibre yield of Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.)
Hibiscus cannabinus L. or kenaf is a fast growing and multipurpose annual crop planted for its horticultural and economic importance. Little is known about its response to different rates of organic fertilizer in Nigeria. The objective of the study was therefore to evaluate the effects of different rates of commercially produced organic fertilizer (Aleshinloye organic fertilizer to be precise) on crop growth rate, vegetative growth and biomass accumulation in kenaf Five different rates of organic fertilizer equivalent to: 0, 70, 100, 130 and 160 kg N ha-1 replicated three times were used in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). There were contrasting results on the effects of fertilizer rates on growth and physiology of kenaf. Significant effects were observed for some agronomic parameters such as plant height, stem diameter and fibre yield. The application of organic fertilizer at varying rates increased the bast fibre yield of the Ifeken 400 variety of kenaf from 67.29 g/m2 (control) to 98.70, 147.88 and 157.40 g/m2, in those grown on soil amended with 70, 100 and 130 kg N ha-1 of organic fertilizer respectively. Organic fertilizer could be utilized for the cultivation of kenaf in Nigeria but the rate to apply depends on the nutrient content of the organic fertilizer.
Keywords: Kenaf, Growth, Organic fertilizer, rates and fibre yield