Influence of NPK Fertilizer and Cow Dung Manure Application on Soil Chemical Properties, Growth and Yield of Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
In recent time, the production of sweet potato has been on the decrease despite its numerous economic potentials and nutritional values. The decrease in production of the crop has been traced to the decline in nutrient status of the soil in areas of production. High rainfall, crop removal, rapid mineralization of SOM and intensive cultivation of land are major contributing factors to declining nutrient status of soil. The problem of quantitative understanding of cow dung manure on yield of sweet potato still persists. Hence, this study tends to evaluate the application effect of cow dung and fertilizer (NPK 15 -15-15) on performance of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas). The experiment was a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replicates. The treatments (5.0 t/ha cow dung, 10t/ha cow dung, 250 kg/ha NPK fertilizer and a control) were applied at three weeks after planting. Data were taken at two week-interval on growth parameters of Vine length, Number of branches, Number of leaves and Leaf Area. Sweet potato plants that received 5t/ha of cow dung manure and 250kg/ha NPK fertilizer produced significantly (p>0.05) longer vines, leaves and branches than those that received 10t/ha of cow dung manure and control. The cow dung manure at 5t/ha were in most cases better than 250kg/ha of NPK fertilizer in enhancing tuber yield of sweet potato. Based on result of this study and the fact that tuber yield of sweet potato is a function of its growth attributes, cow dung manure at 5t/ha is recommended for sweet potato production.Keywords: sweet potato, cow dung, NPK, growth, yield
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