EFFECT OF SEED TREATMENT WITH SYNTHETIC PESTICIDES AND Cassia alata EXTRACT ON FIELD PERFORMANCE OF NSUKKA YELLOW PEPPER (Capsicum annum)
Field experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research farm of the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka to compare the activity of Cassia alata leaf extract with two synthetic chemical fungicides applied as seed treatment on the field performance of Nsukka yellow pepper. Four accessions of Nsukka yellow pepper seeds were treatged with Apron plus 50 Ds (34% furathiocarb + 10% metalaxyl + 6% carboxine) and Thiram (tetramety1 thioperoxydicarbonic diamide) each at the rate of 30g/100kg of seeds while Cassia alata extracts was used for treatment at the rate of 1ml/100g of seeds. The seedlings were transplanted into the field 42 days after planting. Data were collected on agronomic parameters. Cassia alata compared favourably well with the synthetic chemical fungicide in all the agronomic parameters measured. There were no significant differences between the effects of Cassia alata and the synthetic fungicides on plant height at 50% anthesis, number of branches and number of days to first anthesis. Cassia alata produced better result and differed significantly (p=0.05) with the synthetic chemicals in quantitative character, such as number of leaves at 50% anthesis and number of flowers per plant. The leaf abscission rate was significantly (p=0.05) lower in Cassia alata treated plants (10.1%) compared with Apron plus 50 Ds (10.32%) or Thiram (11.79%). Cassia alata also reduced the number of days to 50% anthesis and number of days to first fruiting (111.7 and 112.7). Evidences in this study show that, Cassia alata extract has potential as seed dressing pesticide for Nsukka yellow pepper seeds.