An eco-zonal assessment of eight mulberry varieties in North Central Nigeria
Eight varieties of mulberry plant namely; NG1, K2, S14, S30, S34, S36, S41 and S54 were evaluated at the Ahmadu Bello University farm in Zaria for survival, yield and nutrient contents. The samples of the mulberry plant were collected from the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) Ibadan. The 8 varieties were planted out using 8 x 8 Latin Square experimental layout. Leaves from these varieties were used separately to feed the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori L. The study revealed that all the eight varieties could survive in the Northern Guinea Savanna area of the country. The S41 variety had the highest survival rate (78.2%) while S34 variety had the highest leaf yield (28095kg/ha). The performances of varieties S14, S36, NG1 and K2 in terms of leaf yield were low. Leaf analysis revealed that the Nitrogen and Calcium contents of S54 were significantly higher than those of the other seven varieties. This was followed by those of K2, S30 and S34. Sodium content was found to be very high in NG1, S41, S54 and K2. Worms fed with S34 variety produced the highest cocooning percent and also performed well in the production of good cocoons. S54 produced the heaviest single cocoon, the lowest number of cocoons in 1.0kg cocoons, produced cocoons with the least quantity of leaves and its effective rate of rearing determined by the weight of the cocoon produced was superior to others. Variety S54 based on the performances of the silkworms fed with its leaves has therefore been selected for cultivation in the semi arid area of Nigeria.
Keywords: Mulberry; Variety; survival; yield; moisture content; chemical content; bombyx mori; cocoon
Moor Journal of Agricultural Research Vol. 7 (1&2) 2006 pp. 21-27