A study on the effect of NPK and poultry manure on the growth and yield of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) one sandy loam soil was carried out at Imo State University Research and Demonstration Farm, Imo State University Owerri. The growth parameters evaluated were, plant height, number of internodes stem chamber, length of internodes, length of petrol and number of leaves. The results obtained showed that poultry manure enhanced vegetative growth in terms of all growth parameters while nitrogen treatment showed remarkable difference at lower margin. Since these vegetative growth parameters are translated into yield by the plants providing leaves, flowers and fruit for consumption and medicinal. Poultry manure is therefore preferred since if the best growth of the Okra.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Okra also known as Ladies finger is a flowering plant belonging to the Mallow family, cultivated for its edible green seed pods. The origin of okra is believed to be West Africa, Ethiopia and South Asia, but the crop is cultivated in tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate regions around the world (National Research Council, 2006).
Okra leaves and seeds are also edible. The seed when roasted and ground is available as caffeine free substitute for coffee while the leaves are also eaten raw in salads.
Due to its multiple nutritional uses, it is hoped to be used to overcome nutritional and food security challenges in developing countries (Gernede et al, 2015). Okra cultivation requires a fertile soil for high yield.
It is necessary to find alternative means of supplementing soil nutrients status. Nitrogen is one of the essential elements required for plant growth. It is essential for carbohydrate synthesis, growth of leaves, roots development and the yield and quality of grains (Ogieva, 2003). Deficiency of Nitrogen causes stunted growth, leaves drop, poor flowering and fruiting and brown color of leaves margin.
Nitrogen sources are fertilizers, symbiotic and non-symbiotic organisms in nitrogen fixation like Rhizobian legumimosarum, nitrification of certain compounds by Nitrobacter and other sources-while it can be lost through crop removal leaching, erosion, and bush burning, etc.
Poultry manure is organic manure made of poultry dropping, wood shavings, feathers, remains of milled feeds and other organic substances. Poultry manure is natural and posses high quantity of nitrogen. It also supplies other essential plant nutrients and a great improvement to soil texture and structure.
Poultry manure is always available, and it is used as alternative source of plant nutrient with long residual effect when combined with in organic fertilizer. It assists in the bio-degradability of the element and provide the needs of the crop.
Okra is a high demanding crop in Nigeria for its nutritional and medicinal values coupled with its use as a vegetable. This study is therefore necessary for the crop’s improvement as well as providing enough of it to help meet its ever increasing demands.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study- is to study the response of okra to NPK and Poultry Manure.
Specific Objectives Are:
- to find out which of these fertilizers gives the best yield of okra.
- to find out the level of each fertilizer that would result to best response of okra growth and yield.