Growth, yield and root quality of cassava as affected by application of organic and inorganic fertilizers

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September, 2015.
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A study on growth, yield and root quality of cassava as affected by the application of organic and inorganic fertilizers was carried out at the research field of CSIR-Crops Research Institute at Fumesua in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The experiment was 3x4 factorial with the treatments arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Fertilizer types were: N-P2O4-K2O at a rate of 30-60-60kg/ha, Poultry Manure (PM) at a rate of 4t/ha, NPK x PM and no treatment as Control. The varieties were: Sika, Ampong and Bankyehemaa. The response variable were: plant height, height at first branching, canopy spread, shoot biomass (t/ha), number of roots per plant, roots diameter, mean root weight (kg/ha), root yield (t/ha), harvest index, root dry matter content, starch content and cooking quality. Planting materials were obtained from Crops Research Institute. Setts were cut to about 15 cm and planted at 1x1 m at the beginning or rains. Results showed that all varieties responded to application of both organic and inorganic fertilizer. In all parameters, the fertilizer treatment effects were greater than the control treatment. Application of the poultry manure only resulted in the greatest root diameter and number of roots per plant. However, the combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizers produced the greatest root weight and root yield. Fertilizer treatments did not adversely affect root quality but enhanced the cooking qualities of the cassava varieties. The results show that for farmers to obtain greater yields than what they are currently harvesting, fertilizer application in cassava production must be employed especially on low nutrient soils.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Crop And Soil Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Master of Philosophy Degree in Agronomy, 2015