EFFECT OF MULCH MATERIALS AND POULTRY MANURE ON WEED CONTROL AND YIELD OF WATERMELON (Citrullus lanatusL.)

A J IBRAHIM, A O OLUTEKUNBI, A D MUNDI

Abstract


Field trials were conducted during the dry season of 2016 and 2017 at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, Nasarawa State University, KeffiShabu-Lafia Campus, to determine the influence of mulch materials and poultry manure on weed control and yield of watermelon (Citrilluslanatus L.). The experiment consisted of polyethylene (PE) plastic mulch plus 10 tons/ha of poultry manure (PM), PE plastic plus 5 tons/ha PM, PE plastic alone, hay mulch plus 10 tons/ha PM, hay mulch plus 5 tons/ha PM, hay mulch alone and no mulch plus 0 tons/ha PM (control). The treatment combinations were laid out in a randomized completely block design (RCBD) with three replications. The most abundant weed species in the field were bush tea, torpedo grass, crabgrass and large purple nutsedge and a change in weed composition was observed between treatments. The results revealed that weed control achieved by PE plastic mulch plus 5 and 10 tons of poultry manure was higher than that of the hay mulch only and the combination of hay mulch and poultry manure. Fruit yield was significantly affected by the use of a PE plastic mulch and hay mulch and poultry manure.  Application of PE plastic mulch plus 5 tons/ha PM or PE plastic mulch plus 10 tons/ha PM produced the highest fruit yield of watermelon in the study area. However, the number of fruit per plant and fruit per plot did not differ significantly. The use of PE plastic mulch with application of 5 – 10 t/ha of poultry manure could be utilized for sustainable environmental benefits, improvement in yield and weed control efficacy in watermelon.


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