GROWTH AND YIELD OF OKRA VARIETIES AS AFFECTED BY RATES OF ORGANO-BASED FOLIAR FERTILIZERS IN RAINFOREST AND RAINFOREST/SAVANNA TRANSITION AGRO-ECOLOGY OF NIGERIA
A field experiments were conducted at the Directorate of University Farms, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and National Horticulture Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan between May and August 2015 to assess the effect of different f organo-based fertilizer (fertilizer applied on the leaves) and their rate on growth and yield of two Okra Varieties: LD88 (Late Maturity), and NHAe–47 (Early Maturity). The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design and replicated three times. The experiment was a 2 × 2 × 5 factorial combinations laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design in a split-split-plot arrangement, with three replicates at both locations. Factors were okra varieties (LD88 and NHAe–47), the fertilizer types (D.I grow green ® and D.I grow red®) and four rate of foliar applications (0, 300, 600 and 900 ml/ha) while NPK 15:15:15 served as check were applied at 4,6, and 8 Weeks After Sowing (WAS). Agronomic data were obtained from growth and yield variables. Results showed that varieties had significant (P≤ 0.05) effect on growth and yield variables. Variety of LD88 had higher plant height and more leaves than NHAe-47 at both locations. Foliar fertilizer had significant (P≤ 0.05) effect on growth and yield variables. The D.I Grow Green® produced significantly numbers of leaves (11, 9). Application rate of 300 ml/ha and 600 ml/ha D.I.Grow Green® gave a better performance. The LD88 variety produced significantly (P< 0.05) longer pod length (4.68 cm), fresh fruit weight (4.84 t/ha) and dry fruit weight (0.31 t/ha) than NHAe-47. Application rate of 600 mls/ha D.I.Grow Red® produced significantly fresh fruit weight (5.79 t/ha) compared to control (1.32 t/ha). In conclusion, okra variety LD88 had superior growth and yield performance. Application of D.I.Grow Red® at the rate of 300 ml/ha at Funaab and 600ml/ha at Nihort enhance fruit yield performance on okra. Therefore, 300ml/ha and 600ml/ha could be recommended to farmers in Rainforest/Savanna transition (Abeokuta) and Rainforest agro-ecology (Ibadan), respectively
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