EFFECT OF ORGANO- BASED FOLIAR FERTILIZER ON CHLOROPHYLL AND NUTRITIONAL QUALITY OF OKRA VARIETIES IN DERIVED SAVANAH OF NIGERIA
Cultivation of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) which is a commonly grown vegetable crop in the tropics is constrained by depleting soil fertility. Use of foliar fertilizer as a supplement has been successfully reported in the temperate region hence there is need to determine the effect of foliar liquid fertilizer on okra growth and nutritional quality. Field experiments were conducted at the Abeokuta (Federal University of Agriculture [FUNAAB] ) and Ibadan (National Horticulture Research Institute [NIHORT] ), between May and August 2015 to evaluate the response of two okra varieties to types and rates of organic-based foliar fertilizer application. Experiment was a 2 × 2 × 5 factorial combinations laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates at both locations. Factors were okra variety (LD88 and NHae47-4), the fertilizer types (D.I. Grow Green ® and D.I.Grow Red®) and four rate of foliar applications (0 [control], 300, 600 and 900 ml/ha) while NPK 15:15:15 served as check. The results showed that the D.I.Grow Red® at 300ml/ha produced the higher Ash (8.23%), fat (2.54%,), moisture (14.65%), and carbohydrate (47.31%) at Abeokuta while 600 ml/ha produced significantly the higher ash, crude fibre, moisture and carbohydrate (9.37%, 15.94%, 9.13%, and 52.02%), respectively in Ibadan. The study concluded that okra variety LD88 had superior growth performance. Application of D.I.Grow Red® at the rate of 300 ml/ha at Abeokuta and 600 ml/ha at Ibadan enhance fruit nutritional quality of okra. Therefore, 300 and 600 ml/ha is recommended to farmers in Abeokuta and Ibadan, respectively.
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