The effects of decapitation and non-decapitation on dry fruit and seed production by 12 cultivars of early and late okra cultivars were studied for two cropping seasons. The analysis of variance showed that year was very highly significant while decapitation-non decapitation, as well the interaction between year and decapitation- non decapitation, for the four treatments for both early and late okra types, were not significant. The highly significant difference in years was attributed to the differences in the rainfall distribution patterns as well relative humidity, air and soil temperatures for the two cropping seasons. Though the differences in seed and dry fruit yield between early and late okra was not statistically significant, late okra showed greater promise for okra seed production in the region. The non-significant differences in dry fruit and seed yield between the early and late okra types as well as between the decapitated and non-decapitated plants were attributed to the physiological and reproductive attributes of both okra types. Comparatively, the seed yield of the evaluated cultivars showed that yield was below the optimum reported for some other okra growing regions of the world, hence the urgent need for more intensified effort to improve the seed yield of the promising cultivars. It was concluded that decapitation as a horticultural practice may not be an effective way of increasing dry fruit and seed yield in okra in South Eastern Nigeria.
Key words: Okra, early, late, decapitation, non-decapitation, dry fruit, seed production.
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