Neem (Azadirachta indica a. Juss) fruit yield determination in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
This study determined fruit yield of Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) in the guinea savanna of Nigeria at Makurdi. Fifteen mature neem trees which had no overlapping canopies and had not been previously pruned were purposively selected out of 207 stands growing at the study site. All ripped fruits felling from the selected trees were collected at 7 days intervals for six weeks and weighed to obtain the weekly fruit yield. Girth size was measured using a 30 meter steel tape, while crown cover was estimated by taking a perpendicular to the spreading branches and leaves round the base of the tree. Descriptive statistics were calculated on yield, girth size and crown cover. The results showed that all fruits felled within a period of 6weeks from the onset of first fruit fall. Total fruit yield per tree ranged from 31.5 to 47.7Kg, while the average was 40.5Kg. Girth size, ranged from 130cm to 275cm with a mean of 215 cm. Crown diameter ranged from 1,280cm to 1,760cm, with a mean of 1,281.3cm. Fruit yield was positively and significantly correlated with the girth size r=569* (p<0.05). Crown diameter and girth size were positively correlated(r = 0.383) but not statistically significant (p>0.05). Fruit yield and crown diameter were also positively correlated (r=0.259) but not statistically significant (p>0.05). The Linear Regression model, suggest that girth size was a better predictor of fruit yield than crown diameter. However, other variables, when employed may likely explain better, neem fruit yield variations in the study area.
Keywords: Neem, Fruit yield, Guinea savanna, Makurdi.