Influence of Different Nitrogen Sources on the Growth and Yield of Three Varieties of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) in Kabba, Kogi State, Nigeria
Experiments were carried out at the Research Site of Horticultural Section, Kabba College of Agriculture to investigate the influence of different nitrogen sources on the growth and yield of three varieties of okra. The experiment was laid out in split block design with varieties as main plots (Lady Finger “LF”, LD88 and Okele (local cultivar)) and different nitrogen sources as sub plots (Urea (108.7 kgN/ha), poultry manure (PM) (3.01 t/ha = 108.7 kgN/ha) and cow dung (CWD) (3.83 t/ha = 108.7 kgN/ha). The treatment combinations were as follows LD88 + Urea, LD88 + PM, LD88 + CWD, LF + Urea, LF + PM and LF + CWD, Okele + Urea (108.7 kg/ha), Okele + PM and Okele + CWD. Growth parameters determined were plant height (cm), leafarea (cm2), number of leaves produced, stem girth (cm), internode length (cm) and days to 50% flowering and podding. Flower characters taken were number of flowers produced per plant, number of flowers aborted per plant, and number of pods produced per plant. Yield characters determined were individual pod weight (g), pod length (cm), pod diameter (cm) and pod yield (t/ha). The data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and means compared using the least significant difference (LSD) at a probability level of 5%. Urea application and poultry manure had significantly different effects compared with cow dung treated plots for the parameters of growth and yield. Highest mean value was observed with urea application. This was followed by poultry manure application. The cultivar Lady’s finger performed better according to the data for number of pods and fresh pod weight. This was followed by the LD88 cultivars. Okra grew taller and had bigger stem girth, greater number of leaves, larger leaf area and higher number of pods and fresh pod weight with urea application. Cultivar Lady’s finger performed better than the other cultivars in most measured parameters. It is therefore recommended that lady finger should be grown by farmers in the study area with their soil amended with urea fertilizer in the study area.