Effects of Sowing Dates and Genotypes on Vegetative, Reproductive Traits and Fresh Pod Yield of West African Okra (Abelmoschus caillei (A.Chev) Stevels in Southeastern Nigeria

Lawrence Chinatu, Peter Okocha, Mathias Eka


The effects of genotypes and sowing dates on vegetative character, reproductive characters and fresh pod yield/ hectare of okra (A. caillei) were evaluated at the Research Farm of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike in 2009 and 2010 cropping seasons. The field experiment was laid out in split-plot in a randomized complete block design replicated 3 times, with sowing dates (May, June, July and August) as main plots and genotypes (OWODE, NGAE-96-012-1, CEN-012, NCRI-02 and NGAE-96-0067) as sub-plots making a total of twenty treatments combinations. At maturity, data were taken on vegetative (plant-height, number of leaves/plant and number of lateral branches/ plant) and reproductive characters (number of flowers/plant, number of pods/ plant, length of pods, weight of pods) as well as fresh pod yield/ hectare. The genotypes NGAE-96-012-1 and NGAE-96-0067 performed significantly higher (P <0.01) than others in vegetative character, reproductive character and fresh pod yield/hectare of 7361.17 and 6779.93Kg/ha in 2009 and 7511.35 and 6737.28Kg/ha in 2010 respectively. The vegetative characters, reproductive characters and fresh pod yield/hectare of crops sown in May were significantly higher (P<0.01) than those sown in later months. May sowing date fresh pod yield/ hectare was significantly higher than the yield of the June, July, and August sowings by 30.41; 87.08 and 125.71% in 2009 and 30.26; 66.38 and 115.54 in 2010 cropping seasons. The drastic reduction in yield associated with delayed sowing by one month is due to photoperiod sensitivity of A.caillei, since, irrespective of sowing date the genotypes flowered almost the same week. Interaction between variety and sowing date was also highly significant (P<0.01). LSD was used to separate the means. NGAE-96-012-1 and NGAE-96-0067 sown in May performed significantly higher (P< 0.01) than other genotypes vegetatively, reproductively and in fresh pod yield in 2009 and 2010. NGAE-96-012-1 and NGAE-96-0067 could be released to farmers in Umudike to plant in May to boost fresh pod production and enhance welfare of farmers in Southeastern Nigeria after they have been released as varieties.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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