EFFECT OF MULCHING MATERIAL AND IRRIGATION FREQUENCY ON YIELD AND ROOT-GALL NEMATODE DISEASE OF OKRA (ABELMOSCHUS ESCULENTUS (L.) MOENCH) UNDER DRY SEASON FARMING SYSTEM
C. M. AGU *
Department of Crop Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, P.M.B 1526, Imo State, Nigeria.
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Yield and root-gall nematode disease of Okra as affected by mulching material and irrigation frequency were evaluated during 2009 and 2010 dry seasons (January to April). The experiment was layed out in a 3 X 4 factorial arranged in randomized complete block design with 4 replications. Okra variety: "Awgu early" highly susceptible to root-gall nematode, Meloidogyne incognita was planted at 0.3 X 0.3m in an Ultisol naturally infested by the nematode. Results of the two years showed that black polythene mulch and 12hourly irrigation significantly impaired root-gall nematode disease and improved Okra yield (pods). Severe nematode damage and least pod yield occurred on plants mulched with either palm bunch refuse or no mulching material and irrigated 24 or 36 hourly.
Keywords: Irrigation frequency, mulching material,, okra, root-gall nematode disease and yield.