Economic potentials of oil palm products and weed control on sustainable turmeric production and selected soil physical properties in southeastern Nigeria
A study was carried out at the Research Farm of National Root Crops Research Institute Umudike, southeastern Nigeria (05o, 29‘N, 07o 33‘E and 122 m above sea level), in 2015 and 2016 cropping seasons to study the economic potentials of oil palm products and weed control on sustainable turmeric production and some soil physical properties. The experiment was laid out in a split plot treatment arrangement in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. Empty palm bunch treatments (0 (12 t/ha straw mulch, 4, 8, and 12 t/ha EPB) occupied the main-plots, while PBA treatments (0 (60N +13P +25K/ha), 4, 8, 12 t/ha PBA) occupied the sub-plots. Application of 0 t/ha EPB (12 t/ha straw) mulch x 12 t/ha PBA gave the highest average plant height, average tiller No/clump, total rhizome No/ha, SHMR and total rhizome yield. This treatment combination also recorded lowest total weed density at 8 and 12 WAP and returned the highest net farm income with a BCR of 16.71. Application of 8 t/ha EPB x 4 t/ha PBA significantly improved soil BD (1.562 g/cm3) and PAW (29.65%). It was concluded that application of 0 t/ha EPB (12 t/ha straw mulch) x 12 t/ha PBA improved the growth and yield parameters of turmeric, controlled total weed density at 8 and 12 WAP and is recommended for turmeric production. When the improvement of soil physical fertility is the only management objective, 8 t/ha EPB x 4 t/ha PBA is recommended in the southeast agroecology of Nigeria.
Keywords: Curcuma longa Linn, ash, soil physical properties, turmeric and weed density