POT AND FIELD TRIALS OF THREE ACCESSIONS OF Moringa oleifera LAM AS INFLUENCED BY POULTRY MANURE APPLICATION
Three experiments were conducted in the Department of Crop Science Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to evaluate three accessions of Moringa oleifera Lam as influenced by three poultry manure rates. The objectives of the research were to: evaluate four nursery media on seedling emergence; and determine the effects of three poultry manure rates on growth and yield of Moringa oleifera in pot and field experiments. Three accessions of Moringa oleifera were collected from Nsukka, Jos and Ibadan. The experiments were carried out in four different media, that is sawdust (100%), sawdust + poultry manure (2:1), top soil (100%) and top soil + poultry manure + river sand (3: 2: 1). Three rates of poultry manure were applied as follows, zero tones/ha, 5 t/ha and 10t/ha. The parameters measured included seedling emergence traits, root volume, dry matter and moisture content of leaves, pod, stem and root. The result showed that the sawdust media had significantly (P<0.05) higher values of percentage emergence. The co-efficient velocity of emergence of topsoil, sawdust and poultry manure were statistically similar. Jos accession recorded, significantly (P<0.05) the highest levels of percentage seedling emergence and co-efficient velocity of emergence. The unamended top soil had significantly (P<0.05) the highest values of traits. The Jos accession also had significantly (P<0.05), the highest rvalues of percentage emergence (94%) but Nsukka accession had significantly (P<0.05) the highest value of co-efficient velocity of emergence. The 10 tons/ha recorded the longest days (11.67) to seedling emergence. The 10 t/ha had lower value of co-efficient velocity of germination while, 5 and 0 t/ha had similar values. Application of 10 t/ha poultry manure recorded growth and yield parameters that were significantly (P<0.05) higher than the values obtained from 0 and 5 t/ha. Nsukka accession recorded significantly (P<0.05) the highest values of growth (156.7cm) and yield parameters (3.33). The 5 t/ha had, significantly (P<0.05), the longest days to flowering and pod formation. The Nsukka accession showed significantly (P<0.05) lower days to flowering than others. The Ibadan accession had the highest value of pod moisture content but Jos had the highest value of pod dry matter content. The 10 t/ha had significantly (P<0.05) the highest value of pod moisture content but 0 t/ha had the highest value of pod dry matter content. Field growth performance evaluation showed that Nsukka accession treated with 5 t/ha had, significantly (P<0.05) the highest values for most of growth parameters measured. The soilless media produced the best result of seedling. The Nsukka and Jos accessions performed better than Ibadan. The planting of Moringa oleifera and application of high quantities of manure in the plastic pot and field can improve the growth and yield of Moringa oleifera.