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 AS  Vol.10 No.1 , January 2019
The Influence of Organic Manure and Biochar on Cashew Seedling Performance, Soil Properties and Status
Abstract: A nursery experiment was conducted at Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria to evaluate the impact of manure on cashew seedlings. Treatments consisted of biochar, compost, combination of biochar + compost and a control. Treatments were applied at rate of 0 g (control), 5 g compost, 5 g biochar and 2.5 g each of biochar and compost combination into 5 kg soil in pots, laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. The experiment was monitored for four months in the greenhouse. Data were collected on number of leaves, plant height, stem girth, soil nutrient composition and nutrient uptake, all analyzed using analysis of variance. The treated soils were also assayed on Potato Dextrose Agar for associated mycoflora. The study showed that the soil PH, N, P, K, Ca and Mg were equally enhanced significantly relative to the control, while Aspergillus, Trichoderma, Beauverie, Penicillium, Lasiodiplodia and Rhizopus cultured treated soils shows that Trichoderma harzianum and Beauverie bassiana were significantly higher in combination of biochar and compost treated soil and posed that their bio-control potential is coupled with soil fertility enhancement characteristics. The results also indicate that stem girth and number of leaves were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different with respect to applied treatment at the first month after treatments application. The leaf area was not enhances with the application of biochar. Combination of biochar + compost significantly enhanced number of leaves and stem girth at the 4th and 12th weeks after planting. Similarly leaf K and P uptake were significantly (<0.05) increased by the application of organic compost and biochar irrespective of whether combined or not compared to the control seedlings. The effect of biochar and compost on cashew leaf Ca and Mg uptake were not significantly different from the control but had a higher value relative to the control. It could therefore be recommended that addition of compost and biochar for sustainable production of cashew seedlings in the nursery be embraced by prospective cashew farmers and seedlings distribution in Nigeria.
Cite this paper: Nduka, B. , Ogunlade, M. , Adeniyi, D. , Oyewusi, I. , Ugioro, O. and Mohammed, I. (2019) The Influence of Organic Manure and Biochar on Cashew Seedling Performance, Soil Properties and Status. Agricultural Sciences, 10, 110-120. doi: 10.4236/as.2019.101009.
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