African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6574

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of compost-biochar mixes and irrigation on the growth and yield of Amaranthus (Amaranthus hybridus) under two growing temperatures

A-H. Abubakari
  • A-H. Abubakari
  • Department of Horticulture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
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H. Bayor
  • H. Bayor
  • Department of Horticulture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
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I. Takyi
  • I. Takyi
  • Department of Horticulture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
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F. A. Chimsah
  • F. A. Chimsah
  • Department of Horticulture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
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G. Nyarko
  • G. Nyarko
  • Department of Horticulture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
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L. Atuah
  • L. Atuah
  • Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
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B. Banful
  • B. Banful
  • Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
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  •  Received: 02 March 2015
  •  Accepted: 21 August 2015
  •  Published: 23 June 2016

Abstract

An experiment was carried out to study the sensitivity of amaranthus to different sources of soil nutrients and different amounts of irrigation water at different temperatures. Nitrogen (N) rich materials (compost/poultry manure) and carbon (C) rich material (biochar) used included poultry manure + rice husk biochar (PM+RB), poultry manure + sawdust biochar (PM+SB), rice husk compost + rice husk biochar (RC+RB), sawdust compost + sawdust biochar (SC+SB) mixed at 10 ton ha-1 N rich material to 5 ton ha-1 C rich material. Rice husk compost only, Sawdust compost only (at 10 ton ha-1 for each of RC and SC), NPK (400 kg ha-1) and no amendments as Control were also used. Two irrigation amounts (0.1124 mm and 0.225 mm per pot), were imposed resulting in 12 treatment combinations, in a completely randomized design with 4 replicates. The experiment was repeated under two different temperatures of 37 and 30°C in the glass house and pot house, respectively. Data on growth, yield, water use and nutrient leaching were collected. PM+RB produced the tallest plants (31.67 cm) with 0.1124 mm irrigation at 30°C. PM+SB treated plants had more leaves (17) with 0.1124 mm amount of irrigation water at 37°C. NPK treated plants gave the highest stem girth (5.87 cm) and highest SPAD value (42.5%) with 0.1124 mm amount of irrigation water at 37°C. Leaf area index was highest (43) at 30°C for plants receiving NPK and 0.225 mm amount of irrigation water. NPK treated plants gave the highest fresh biomass of 36.93 g at 30°C but lowest biomass (13.01 g) at 37°C. PM+SB gave the highest fresh biomass weight of 16.7 g at 37°C and highest volume of leachate (123 ml) with 0.225 mm irrigation water at 30°C. At 37°C, SC gave the highest leachate volume (166 ml). The study indicates a good potential for sustaining crop yield with organic materials under increasing temperature and declining water resources that may be associated with changing climate.

Key words: Amaranthus, compost, biochar, climate change, irrigation frequency.