Effects of cocoyam (Colocosia esculentus L. ) planting densities on soil loss and yield in Abakaliki, south-eastern Nigeria
An experiment was carried out on effects of cocoyam planting densities on soil loss and yield in Abakaliki. The field was laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four treatments of 44, 100 and 174 planting densities of cocoyam and control (bare plot). Samples were collected at 0-20cm depth for determination of soil properties. Soil lost after each rainfall was collected from each plot. Data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA). Bare plot had significantly (P<0.05) higher soil loss than plots receiving different densities of cocoyam. Significantly (P<0.05) taller cocoyam plants were obtained in plot receiving 44 stands at 3WAP as well as mean yield of cocoyam which also showed significant differences among the planting densities. Whereas, bare plot had 53, 58 and 62% higher soil loss than other plots receiving different densities, cocoyam height at 3WAP was 32 and 37% higher in plot with 44 stands than Plots with 100 and 178 planting densities. Mean yield of cocoyam was 5 and 48% higher in plot having 44 stands when compared to plots with 100 and 178 cocoyam densities. Trend of soil loss, growth and yield of cocoyam according to treatments is in the order of bare soil >44>100>178 for soil loss and 44>100>178 for plant height and yield for the planting densities, respectively. Lower density of cocoyam is recommended for higher yield but for soil conservation against loss, higher density is advocated.
Keywords: Cocoyam density, effect, fertility, productivity, soil loss, yield
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