GROWTH AND YIELD RESPONSE OF COWPEA TO FURROW IRRIGATION METHODS AND MULCHING AT ZUGACHI IRRIGATION SITE, KANO, NIGERIA
Publication Date : 01/08/2018
This study explored the effect of irrigation water management alternatives on the performance of cowpea during the dry season of 2015/2016 at Zugachi irrigation site, Gabasawa, Kano State Nigeria). The trial involved three furrow irrigation methods (Fixed, alternate and every-other-furrow irrigation methods), four mulching (grasses, wood shaving, polythene and Bare soil (control)) replicated 3 times. The combinations of these factors had translated into 36 treatments, and were laid out in a Randomised Complete Block Deign (RCBD) arrangement. Both the growth and yield parameters of cowpea were influenced by furrow irrigation methods and mulching. The longest numbers of days to 50% germination (5 days) was observed in plots irrigated using the every-other-furrow irrigation method; and the Fixed furrow irrigation method resulted into the least duration (3.92 days) to attain 50% germination. The duration to 50% germination, flowering and maturity were highest on bare soils. The values of all growth parameters were highest in plots irrigated using Alternate furrow irrigation method, followed by fixed furrow irrigation method; and the use of every-other-furrow irrigation method translated into the least values of the growth parameters. The use of fixed furrow irrigation produced highest yield (1217.83 kg/ha) relative to the least yield of 927.42 kg/ha that was observed from every-other-furrow irrigation method. The Polyethylene mulching produced the highest cowpea yield (1168.11 kg/ha), while the least yield came from the Bare (Unmulched) plots. There was also a significant increase in number of pod per plant, pod length, weight of pod per plant and yield of cowpea in all mulched plots relative to control plots. The findings advocated for the need for adopting either the fixed or the alternate furrow irrigation method to benefit from their resource-saving characteristics while boosting and sustaining irrigated farming profits. Mulching, and especially the Polyethylene and grass mulching remarkably perked up the growth, yield and yield quality of cowpea.
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