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International Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Soil Science

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Tillage and mulch influence on soil physical properties, plant nutrient composition and performance of pepper (capsicum annum L) and sorghum (sorghum bicolor L)

Abstract

Ewulo B.S, Ojeniyi S.O and Morenikeji C.I

Field experiments were conducted at Akure in the rainforest zone of Southwest Nigeria to study the effect of tillage and mulching in production of pepper (Capsicum amnum) and sorghum (sorghum bicolor). The soil physical properties, plant nutrient content, growth and yields of pepper and sorghum were evaluated. Zero tillage (herbicide based), manual clearing (MC), ridge (R) and heap (H) without and with weed residue mulch (M) were studied, Ridge or heap without mulch reduced soil bulk density and temperature compared with MC or MC + M. Tillage (H, R) increased leaf N, P and Ca in pepper, mulch increased leaf N, P, K, Ca and Mg and highest values of P, K, Ca and Mg were recorded for H + M and R+M. Tillage and mulch significantly increased pepper height, number of leaves, branches, fruits and fruit weight hence H+M and R+M had higher values of the parameters. Relative to MC, the H, R, MC+M, H+M and R+M increased fruits weight by 497, 448, 540, 876 and 903% respectively. The values for fruits weight were 457, 432, 500, 896 and 968%. Tillage increased dry matter yield of sorghum significantly, while dry matter yield, plant height, leaf area and grain yield were significantly increased by mulching. Highest grain yields were given by R + M and H+M. Relative MC, the MC+M, R+M and H+M increased grain yield by 23, 51 and 49% respectively. Tillage plus mulching significantly enhanced performance of pepper and sorghum.

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