Performance of cashew seedlings as influenced by AM fungi inoculations and phosphate fertilizers
A greenhouse investigation was carried out to determine the influence of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (AM) fungus and two phosphate fertilizers on the growth of cashew seedlings from different nut sizes. Twelve treatment combinations comprising two phosphate fertilizers application using SSP single superphosphate, SRP Sokoto rock phosphate together with no P application control. Two cashew nuts sizes: small nuts (4 – 6 g) and large nuts (8 – 12 g), and two levels of mycorrhizal inoculations (with or without). It was a completely randomized design with three replicates. Mycorrhizal inoculation increased the height of cashew seedling at 2 and 4 months after planting (MAP) by 32 % and 23 % respectively. However, AM only increased the dry matter yield of cashew seedlings by 3.71 % at MAP. The dry matter yield and height of large nuts cashew seedlings were significantly (P < 0.01) enhanced at 2 and 4 MAP when compared to those of small cashew nuts. Cashew seedling height was only significantly higher compared to the control as a result of phosphate fertilizers at 2 MAP (< 0.01) but at 4 MAP. Thus, in places where there is dearth of large nuts, inoculating small nuts with AM and phosphate fertilizer is beneficial to the growth and dry matter yield of cashew seedlings.
Keywords: Cashew nuts, phosphate fertilizers, dry matter yield.
Nigerian Journal of Horticultural Science Vol. 10 2005: pp. 47-51